A talk given by Eugene Halliday at Parklands, Ishval tape 10
I was talking about Involution last time and I am going to talk about evolution this time. When I was told that the last time I was talking about involution it sounded like evolution, so tonight I am going to talk about evolution sounding like involution!
Do you remember our five-fold division? The will on the thumb and the intellect on the first finger, and preferred response, which some people call desire, pref res; the bio-field is the field of life force, which keeps your body functioning while you are asleep and when you are not actively desiring something, and then your physical bod here, pronounced physbod, it looks a bit Tibetan to me. Donald, who knows about Tibetan will recognise the prime roots of this physbod. In Tibetan it is pronounced phlehg, and the essence of good Tibetan is whatever the letters are you ignore them.
Now, in order to turn these five into seven, tradition has done a very, very simple thing. It is quite logical and that is to divide the intellect into two parts and the preferred responses into two parts, so we say five plus two equals seven. If we have a physical body and we know that that physical body is alive when a person is asleep, we know that some kind of force is operative and we know that in the state of deep sleep, there is nothing of the order that we call desire as experienced in the waking state. So, your heart is beating, your blood is circulating, your lymph is lymphing, and all that kind of thing, while you are in deep, dreamless sleep. So we will have to allow that there is some kind of energy which functions in dreamless sleep, which keeps you alive and therefore we use the term ‘biofield’ for this particular energy. If we start now the other end and we use the word ‘will’ for initiative; initiative is that which starts a process, starts an activity and it has no reason to start it in the first instance, when it has started it, then it creates reason by the form of its own action. So, the will is superior to and ontologically prior to the intellect.
Now the intellect is of two kinds; the consideration of the formal relations of macrocosmos, the big universe, that is the kind of universal propositions you find in pure logic and pure mathematics and pure geometry which has no particularised application in individual human beings to the exclusion of other beings. So, if we divide the intellect into two parts, the top part of it is concerned entirely with the Logos or pure reason of the great Universe, the Macrocosmos. Now, we also use our intellect for evaluating mental processes, which are fed by sense organs of your physical body. So, we actually see we have two kinds of intellectual or rational activity, one based on pure mathematics, geometry and logic, irrespective of any individual application, and the other based on individual empirical experience with the physical body. So it is quite legitimate to divide the intellect in these two ways. The intellect has one face upwards into the Infinite and one face downwards into the mineralised, physical world.
Now, when we come to preferred responses we can divide these preferred responses into two in the same way because we can actually prefer to respond to a purely logical proposition. As we might say to a person who is considering doing something with us or to us, “Have you any respect for my inner principle of free spirit?” Now, if this person says, “No,” then we have to say to that person, “Then you are functioning at a lower level than I wish you to function, because I wish you to respect my innermost spirit.” Now no one empirically has ever seen an innermost spirit. They have seen a physical body behaving in a certain way; they have seen its temperature going up and down and breathing accelerating and decelerating but they have never seen an internal spirit. Nevertheless, everyone assumes that there is one there, of some kind, because all human beings cry out, “Please respect my internal decision.” If there is a behaviour where A and B are inter-relating in such a way that B tends to bind A in a specific manner without first consulting A, then we say that B has no respect for the innermost principle of self-determination in A. If we now say we can prefer to respond to the indication given us by pure logic, pure mathematics, pure geometry, then we can talk about the upper level of preferred response. The higher desires are those with which we desire to obey Cosmic Logic, Cosmic mathematics, all under the heading of truth. You know very well that you have a lower desire nature that desires to eat things that are bad for it, to drink more that is good for you and so on. The lower responses are body conditioned and lower emotionally conditioned.
Some thinkers in certain fields like to call the zone of preferred response the Astral Plane. This can actually cause confusion. I have heard a lot of people say, “What is the Astral Plane and what relation has the Astral Plane got to do with the Astrum, the star stuff of the universe?” Obviously this astra root is to do with stars. There is a real relation because when stars incandesce, that is, when that compression of primal forces occurs in the Infinite which condenses power, which at the infinite level is not finitely knowable, condenses power so that it becomes visible, we call it a star. So that all the stars we see in the sky are actually substance, which when it comes to Earth and is caught, as say the light of the Sun is caught by photosynthesis, it may be utilised to build a plant body, but before this becomes plant body; when it is in the Sun, the Sun is a star, or any other star, this light is very peculiar stuff.
If you look, in spectrum analysis at stars, you can tell their chemistry by analysing the kind of light given out by that star. In analysing it you are examining something which is not merely a so-called physical fact, it is also at a certain level, a psychological fact because all energy is sentient, there is no non-sentient energy and therefore the energy that comes from the Sun and from the stars, itself is sentient, it is living energy. And this why this term ‘Astral Plane’ was used for the plane of preferred responses or desires. There is a level in you where your energies are concerned with desire. This level is converted starlight, remember, the Sun is a star, and this starlight or sunlight is the life principle vested in living beings on Earth; so that in the Spring, our goat bangs his head more vigorously than usual on his house and on the railings precisely because solar energy, star energy, has come into him. When it gets in him, it appears in him, functionally, as desire and because that desire is vectored outwards and downwards to the earth, then we call it the lower desire. But in a brain like Spinoza we find exactly the opposite. The solar energy going into Spinoza turned upwards and contemplated God as a logical mathematico-geometrical proposition. It is still a desire, a preferred response, but it is a very, very fine desire vectored away from the gross earth towards very, very subtle forms, that by empiricists are called abstract ideas but which, at their own level, in religious terminology, are called angels. In all the great religions, the fundamental idea, pre-Christian idea was that all the stars are intelligent forces and that as they come to the Earth, they involve themselves in forms on Earth; see, we are talking about involution already; and in so doing, they appear inside these living beings as desire forces. And, the desire forces of the Sun and the stars can be vectored to go into Earth bodies of animals and men or, they can be vectored in such a way that when they go into man, they turn back to contemplate their origin.
So we can see here, we can put an arrow downwards and one upwards for the preferred responses, one down and one up for the intellectual, formal activities. Remember, everything is primarily Will. It is the Will to reason that creates reason, it is not reason that creates the Will. The most recent measurements of processes of conation inside human beings show that the rational process is very much slower than another kind of energy inside them connected with the highest aspects of being alive. There are certain energies that move very, very much faster than the nervous impulses that run along your nerves, and these other energies belong to the Will as pure initiative. Now Will must be distinguished very clearly from the preferred response or desire level because the desire level is conditioned by its object, either the object is down in the physical body or the object is upwards towards the Cosmic Intellect and Will.
Now, if we like to think of this diagram and utilise the idea of the Seven Veils, remember that Salome, if we split this name down means that the Spirit has tied itself into the substance, like in shalom. When you consider this fact, Spirit is the All in All and functions in various ways and function veils ultimate cause. Remember function is two-fold; it has a formal aspect and a power aspect. The FU in it is the same as the PU or the POU in pouvoir, the idea of power or push is involved in it, and the C in it, which is really a K, implies closure. So the FU in function implies power and the K sound in funktion implies form, so there is no function other than a power behaving in a formal manner, but the moment you have put a form onto something you have veiled it.
Sinitiate, you are in it. To initiate is to intersect forces, it means to begin something, when you are initiated it does not mean your education is finished, it means it has just begun. So there can be no initiation into final mysteries other than the statement about how to get there, and getting there is always a process of internal evolution, the unveiling, the out-willing of what has been willed in. o we can now count and say, above the level of this analysis is the Absolute and this Absolute polarises itself in a primary polarity into Will and Body and the interaction between the Will and the Body produces all the other levels. The Absolute itself is not veiled, but very mysteriously the Absolute contains all the veils within itself. The only veiling factor is function. The first one is Initiative. Initiative means beginning. As soon as you ‘in it,’ which is,
So now, supposing we start at the bottom with the physical fact and we observe, at the grossest level, knocking. Supposing we decide we will all know as if we were all in an American prison, protesting by beating our spoons on the bars. Would you mind all going like this? (Knocking.) While we are doing this, let us find out what it is. This is a veiling process, a very low level veiling process. There was not enough response, actually, I think some people have very quick minds and they do not need to knock to understand what knocking is. And this can only mean that they are either very, very well developed or they are remembering some other knocks from long ago and referring to their memory of a knock. Otherwise they would not comprehend that you can actually veil consciousness simply by knocking. If you get your skulls and all beat them on the next person’s skull to you and then try to recite Jabberwocky you will probably find some veiling of consciousness. So, the lowest veil is your physical body.
Now, the next veil above the level of the physical body is the life process itself. The life process is a bit of a nuisance, especially in a romantic situation, especially when a man is about to swear eternal fidelity and something eaten half an hour before, joins in the conversation. This is a part of the bio-field activity and she says, “I beg your pardon, did you really mean it?” And he says, “Not that last bit, only the bit before.” So bio-field function can and does veil consciousness, sometimes very inconveniently.
Now, above the bio-field veil is the veil of the lower preferred response and this is one of mankind’s biggest nuisances. In the animal world the lower preferred response is the only one it has. It has a response vectored into the material world so that this level of the lower preferred response completely veils the animal‘s consciousness from its higher spiritual origin. As far as we know, empirically no animal has yet shown an interest in an abstract idea such as delighted the mind of Hegel. We do not know any dialectically oriented animals. The highest animal that we know of, a chimpanzee, does not give any evidence of considering ontological problems of the Trinity, the nature of the Absolute, the dialectical process, and so on. Or, if they do, they have not yet put it into a code that human beings can resolve. So the lowest level here is the preferred response or lower desire which is vectored into the physical world and this is a tremendously thick veil because it actually turns you into the external world, focuses you on the body of another person, an external object, and then the engrammic determinants of your ancestors who have had similar experiences of similar physical bodies in the past, rush out to greet this external situation with ancestral preferred responses of the lower order. Every time you look upon a person, physically and feel that you like them or dislike them, you are being veiled by this lower preferred response level. It is the biggest single obstacle for human beings today, the lower preferred response, the response to beauty, to pleasure, to comfort, to all things nice.
Now, above the level of this is the preferred response of the person who would like to be good but does not know what good is. The kind of person who might belong to a religious organisation or a philosophical organisation and so they have a vague idea there is a thing called ultimate truth, beauty, goodness, my goodness they do not know what it is, but they are vaguely aware that it is there and they would prefer to respond to it if they could. It is vectored away from the gross material world but it is a peculiar kind of veil, sort of shot silk. It is riddled with unformulated processes, half formulated processes, dreams of higher morality, dreams of ethical propositions that have never been logically worked out. This veil is a nuisance for a relatively small number of people, the people that want to be good without knowing what it is.
Now when we come to the intellectual level, the lower intellect is the intellect used by empirically vectored scientists. All the scientists who examine the material world and try to reduce it to primary atomic constituents, which is now, of course, recognised as a waste of time and so they change the terms and look for primary quanta of mass energy, it is vectored downwards and outwards. It is turned out with the sense organs from the centre of being inside the body, it is turned outwards into the laboratory experiment, and this is a very great nuisance for that small number of people we call empirical scientists because it veils their consciousness continuously, and by the law of form covers over all the possibility of a higher level of understanding. So that the empirical scientist is committed by his concept that the material world, if analysed down to its ultimate constituents, its ultimate mass energy quanta, will reveal ultimate truth. In fact that orientation is quite wrong because it is vectored away from the will. It is a very bad veil; it is as bad for the empirical scientists to veil as the lower desire level is for the ordinary fellow and the goat in the garden.
Now, the top-level intellect is a veil also; it is a veil of abstract logical propositions, mathematics and geometry. They are very, very high but they are still a veil because they are definable forms. We find men like Plato, Confucius, people of that order who think; remember that think means to have forms in your mind and juggle with them; who think that they know the principles of cosmic government. They think that they can apply these principles of cosmic government and they think that in their application they will control the world. So that when Confucius, boasting about his knowledge and Plato boasting about his, were taken at their words by some duke or prince and given a territory to govern on the logical principle they claimed to know about, they completely failed to control the situation. Their consciousness was veiled by this high idea that logic, in the Aristotelian sense and mathematics and geometry can actually order life and produce the perfect Utopia. Now that is the highest of the formal veils that are definable in logical terms of the Aristotelian order. But, above that level is this level of the initiation.
Remember, initiation means starting and it means that the Infinite Field of Sentient Power at this level of initiative is no longer what it was in the Absolute because it has actually started a process, it posits. Now, in order to start you must start by focussing. You make a point and as soon as you make this point, this first condensation of power, you have a veil. And the veil at this level is the intention of the Will itself. The Will overshadows itself with its own intent. Now this is a very, very high veil and very, very difficult to break through, because, in the act of trying to break through it, if you are not very careful, you, yourself, veil yourself with your own initiative. The only cure for this veil, the removal of this final veil is actually not to initiate anything whatever, and this requires tremendous self-control, because every energy in your body, your physical body energies, your bio-field energies, your lower and higher desires, your lower and higher intellect, all these are derivatives of this initiative but the initiative itself keeps you in being at every level. You continuously re-posit yourself in the existential world by continuous acts of will. If you lose the impetus of the will you begin to fail. If you lose heart, as you say, you take a step towards death. Death is only the culmination of continuous negation of the Will. It is a vectoring out of the world instead of into it.
To get to the level of the Absolute, the initiative itself must be killed and the dialectical difficulty is that you have to initiate a decision not to initiate. This means you must actually make yourself be still and then abandon the making yourself so that you are just still. This is the big idea of all the great mystics and they say they can’t explain it with sufficient clarity to convert the football crowd from the match so that they would just be still. Being still, as opposed to making oneself still is a tremendously high art. All your physical body’s history, all your bio-field function, the solar energy coming to you, all your lower, higher desires, your lower, higher intellect and your ordinary initiative that continuously re-posits you in being, all these have to be abandoned, and then you discover another level, a level in which in spite of not willing, you persist, but you do not persist by act of will, but you persist because you are eternally what you are.
Now, it is very difficult for people to believe, ordinarily, that if they do not make special efforts, physically, they will never get anything physically and the people that actually think that everything that is got by people is got by hard work at the physical level. They cannot account for some other people, called jammy people or lucky people who apparently get something for nothing. But there are such people. There are people who apparently get things physically without work. They do not go out borrowing or begging, they do not do anything. People come along and give them things. The Hindu analysis says, well they must have been very generous in a previous life and they are now getting the fruits of their giving. So, in that analysis, a lucky man has been a very good, generous fellow on another occasion. But, whatever it is, the fact is that some people are lucky. Some people can actually back horses that win. Some people have what is called, a run of luck, but whatever the cause there are some people who are lucky.
Now, there are some people that think that you may not work hard physically but you have a special energy in you, a vitality, and this energy, somehow attracts success, so you do considerably less physical work than another person but the bit that you do seems to be more effective. And this also is true. Some people are, at the bio-field level, attractive. A certain kind of literature of thirty years ago, which swept America and crept into Europe on its hands and knees and died in Marple, and,… somebody has been there, and this energy had to do with something called ‘Personal Magnetism.’ Personal Magnetism is something you either have or have not got and if you have not got it you cannot get it unless you go to Marple! But, there are exercises that enable you to get it. One of them for instance, is to stare fixedly at somebody when they stare at you and to avoid blinking you raise your top lids every time they get tired. When you do that the other fellow gives in and he automatically gives you his meringue or whatever other thing he is eating at the moment.
The pursuit of personal magnetism has veiled many minds. Sitting in the railway train watching two men, one with his book with the paperback visible and the other had wisely put a brown paper over his outer cover and they were both reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Make Friends and Influence People.” That is a question of this mysterious magnetism; Mesmer worked quite a lot about that. There are still certain hypnotists that believe that there is such a thing as a bio-magnetic personality and there certainly is such a personality
Now we come to another level of the lower desires where men like Ken Russell become prominent directors by making a film of a musician called Strauss with lots of strange erotic activities in it. What this has to do with the music of Strauss is difficult to work out but Russell is consciously making pretty pictures for people vectored in the lower desire field. He actually caused me to get a telephone call from a lady who said she had seen this film. She thought it was horrible and she didn’t think Ken Russell was any good that he could make such a terrible film suggesting that a man who could write The Blue Danube could have a mind like that.
When we come to the level of the higher desires, as we have said, it is the being good! Now this is a very, very dangerous level to be at, because the desire to be good without comprehending the nature of goodness produces a tremendous sense of injustice in the people that are trying to be good. They believe that there is a good God, that this good God has made a statement in the Bible that he will reward all those who worship him and these people are quite sure that they worship Him and then they wonder if he is aware of the fact, that somehow his omnipotence is not focussed in their direction
I have seen a very nice woman with a poetic mind say that Jesus was going to give her a crown because she had claimed the promise, and she had been told all you had to do is claim the promise and you will automatically be given a crown. Now, this kind of vision of receiving a crown for goodness breeds a sense of injustice and this is a very, very bad veil to overcome. Most human beings are shot right through the psyche with an erroneous idea that justice should exist, mysteriously, in the time process and this is quite illogical the sense of injustice arises from incommensurability between two things and an act and its result.
If we examine the idea of justice, we use a pair of scales for it, like this, if those scales are exactly balanced we say that is the image of justice, perfect balance. Now, if two forces are in perfect balance, if I push with my right hand and my left hand with equal force, my hands will stay in the centre line of my body, which means to say that when the two forces in opposition are exactly equal, I am made static by this opposition. But, if I press harder with one hand than the other, a movement occurs in the direction of the weaker hand. If I press with the left hand harder, then it goes the other way. Only when forces are unequal does motion take place and the whole of the time process and the whole of life as a function, as a change of form, as growth, as decay, whatever kind of motion characteristic it may have, if there is any motion, then there is unbalance of forces. And, therefore, as long as people are willing life, motion, function, they are, whether they know it or not, willing injustice. A person who exercises to get big muscles is getting big muscles relative to a fellow with less muscle through less exercise or different kind of diet, and so on. The man that gets the big muscles says it is justice that he gets them because he has done extra work. The man that sees these large muscles, later on thinks that it is unjust that that man should have had the energy to do the exercises when the other man has not. Or, if he has, that the man who has developed the muscles should have been given by grace, the interest to develop them when this man is not even interested in them. A funny thing about a human being is that they can actually be totally disinterested in something and still think it is unjust that they do not do it.
I know a woman that has been wishing to play Rachmaninov’s preludes for a long, long time, but she has not been interested to bother to learn, and she feels it is very unjust that she can’t play it. And, there is a certain sense in which it is true because why should she have in a desire to play this piece and not the capacity to make herself play it, when another person might have the capacity to play it and not want to. There is an unbalance here and at this particular level, this do-gooding level of the higher desire, there is a very, very strong tendency, because, remember, it is below the level of the intellect not to work out the logic of this injustice but merely to suffer from it. There are a lot of people in the world who suffer from this injustice. Why should Biaffrans be treated in this way; why should Vietnam exist; why should Spanish torture exist? These things are manifestly unjust. They don’t work out the logic of it and the whole development of human protoplasm on Earth; they do not work out the principles, dialectical, of life of power, of space, of time in the macro-cosmos. They do not work anything out; they just suffer from this desire to be good which is manifestly not succeeding in embodying itself.
So, therefore, we have to think about justice in a totally different way. We have to think that the mysterious balance of forces that is manifestly not available in the serial time process must somehow be adjusted at another level of being. Now, in eternity, all these forces are absolutely, mutually inter-penetrating. You know that in some certain sub-atomic experiments it has been shown that two solids, like two diamonds, can be crushed together so that they occupy the same space. Now, if a physical experiment can show that it is possible to take apparently solid structures like diamonds and, under tremendous pressures, force them into each other. Remember they are only gratings, functions of power any way, there is no reason whatever why the whole universe should not be compressed into the size of a nutmeg. Even physical scientists are aware, that owing to the tremendous amount of space there is in the universe, if all the entities within that space, the electrons and the protons and the neutrons and so on, if they were to be pushed together so that the spaces that we know are there were no longer there, we could actually crush the whole universe into the size of a tennis ball. A very heavy ball.
Now at the level of Eternal Being, all the forms of all functions, all the powers of all beings, are absolutely, mutually interpenetrated. There is no point in the continuum of eternality that does not contain all the functions of all other points and therefore, in the Eternal, there is an absolute justice because there is no separation or differentiation of one being from another in such a way that one being has a greater gift than another. All beings have all gifts and all these gifts are absolutely interpenetrating, and therefore, in the Eternal there is Absolute Justice. But there is none of the serial motion, the linear presentation of data that we experience in the waking process of time. So, to conquer this dreadful feeling of injustice that we suffer from in the time process we have to recognise that justice, as exact balance, as parity, as paying the proper price for something, has no business whatever in the time process. It belongs in the eternal. Remember, the Eternal is not a lot of time, time is a linear presentation process, it is the simultaneity of all being, all form, all function, all intelligence in absolute interpenetration. Once you can get hold of the idea that you don’t want justice in the time process, it is illogical and stupid and if you got it, it would not be the time process any more because everything would become static. So you then learn to adjust to manifest inequalities or injustices of the time process and use them as a developmental device.
Now, when we come to the lower intellect and its veiling function, we see what the empirical scientist does. He vectors himself outwards from the centre of consciousness in the body. He uses his five senses. He looks out of his eyes and he focuses on objective energy forms outside his skin. He does this in order to remove what he calls the subjective factor, that is, the will or volitional attitude, the affective bias of the scientist himself. This scientist has a peculiar abstract idea that if he were to focus himself on the external world accurately, he would be able to take that external world to pieces and reveal the ultimate truth about reality and mysteriously keep himself out of it so that he did not, himself, veil his results. Now, most people, to some degree, are empirical scientists in this sense because they relate to each other in an empirical way, they do things experimentally, they try tricks. We list all these tricks under the heading M2, fantastic behaviour. People make statements to each other which are conditional and qualified and they are there to stimulate you to make a statement, as in the case of say a lady who said to a gentleman recently, “You have led me to believe so and so.” And the gentleman said, “I did not lead you to believe, you led yourself to believe that because you had a purpose in it.” And I pointed out that if this fellow did not exist and if he had not had a certain amount of efficiency in himself then he would not have led her so to believe. It was his existence, the fact that he could do something at all properly that was the stimulus, an existential stimulus, and the nature of sentience being what it is that must enfold an object which is functioning properly if it can possibly get to it. So in this sense every individual being who behaves in such a manner that they can be seen, empirically, through the sense organs by another being, is conditioning the other being by their behaviour. So that, at the empirical level, every man is in fact doing an experiment. If you are nice to somebody when you go to buy something and horrible to somebody because you have decided that they have not got the talents which you thought they had so you will get rid of them by horrible behaviour, all this is really empirical trickery in the laboratory of the world. The essence of the experiment of the physical empirical scientist is that he is pursuing power, he is pursuing control. Everything he does, in the laboratory, aims at control of power. The experiments to put a man on the Moon aimed at power. They aimed at putting a man as an observer so that he would be outside the Earth objective situation. They will put up their missiles that can travel a quarter of a million miles very, very rapidly and blast any country on the Earth. It is all in the pursuit of power, of control that this kind of thing is done. And, whilst it is perfectly obvious that the use of nuclear weapons has raised ethical problems about the responsibility of scientists, there is no difference in principle between what the scientist does in the pursuit of power and what any individual human being in his own little way does with other human beings, experimenting with them. Because he tries tricks, he makes special word forms to see how people respond, he removes the unpleasant word, he puts an unpleasant world pictured before him to condition somebody’s activity and he watches and he modifies his behaviour so that every individual is as guilty, ethically, as any empirical scientists pursuing a nuclear bomb of new dimensions, even when he is pursuing the most tiny little petty influence in a relatively closed situation.
So we cannot accuse the physicist who makes the nuclear bombs of unethical behaviour, logically, unless we give up influencing each other in a power manipulating sense. And. if you examine the behaviour of most of the human race you will find that most of them are, in fact, conditioning each other’s responses to the best of their ability. It is merely their lack of technical know-how on the large scale that stops every man on the street from having a nuclear bomb or a paralysing gun to eliminate rivals.
When we come again to the higher reason, this one is a very tricky one because it has made tremendous conceit in certain types of mind. In Europe, the most obvious mind that was conceited in this way was the mind of the Stoic. The Stoic philosophy conceived the Universe to be entirely logical, to be analysable in logos terms, that is, of cosmic reason. It is possible to comprehend the nature of the cosmic reason and then all one needs to do is obey this cosmic reason, then one becomes a good Stoic. Now, the conceit of the Stoics was tremendous because by pursuing this kind of reasoning they were actually able to control themselves to inhibit the lower responses of the body, of the bio-field, of the lower animal desire and their desire to be good was vectored into logos conformity. So, all the great stoics worked very, very hard on themselves so that the whole of their behaviour was conditioned by logical considerations. Why grieve for the inevitable, all finite beings are doomed to dissolution. It is unseemly to emote if your grandmother gets buried in an earthquake because it is too late. It was unseemly to emote about the possibility before it happened because it might not happen and therefore it is always unseemly to emote. One must be rigidly logical and the result is that these men began to scorn all the people below them. They scorned the empirical rationalists; they scorned the people who desired to be good for any other reason than conformity with logic; they scorned terribly, the animal responses of the lower desire nature; they scorned the life principle itself in the body by often refusing to function in a biological manner; and they scorned the physical body as ultimately doomed to dissolution. So they became supreme scorners. They had their equivalent in other religions. They have their equivalent in Indian Yoga, in certain fields.
So that each veil has a particular characteristic, a particular virtue if you remember to use it positively as an experiential occasion, and a particular type of vice, and, you observe, the higher you go up, the worse that vice is. And, when you get to the level of the Stoic, when you get to the level of the man whose intellect is vectored upwards and who begins to function logically, mathematically and geometrically perfectly, then you expect more from this man than scorn. You think somewhere he has gone wrong because he has got the power to do something about the rest of the human race but he scorns that race and will do nothing for them so that this very high level of cosmic, logos, intellectual conceit is a very, very bad thing.
Now, above this level we have the level of initiative. This in a sense is a very peculiar because initiative remember, is unconditioned. It does not depend on an external stimulus, it is in the very centre of your own being and it is above the level of stoics. It has got hold of itself and can do something or nothing, this or that, right or left, up or down, forward or backwards, without any condition whatever, so that it could actually follow the reason of a Stoic and when the Stoic was not looking, could kick the stool out from under his feet. Now it might have a good will to do so and it might not have such a good will. It may be kicking that Stoic’s feet from under him in order to release other people from the tyranny of his scorn. But the vice is that the man who is perfectly free, if he is not careful will treat the whole universe as a joke. He will tweak everybody when he feels like it. He will talk like that God that said, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will not have mercy on whom I will not have mercy.” So right at the very top level, this veil is the worst of the lot and it is the thinnest of the lot. It is very mysterious because it is nothing other than the free intent of this Self. A very subtle distinction. And if you imagine that you are perfectly free and unconditioned and could will without inertia, whatever you willed to will, and if you then decided to go through the universe ripping everybody up and sniggering to yourself, and then you would have this supreme vice and you would be worse than a scorner because the scorner is negative relative to this. When the Stoics were there scorning people, it was observed that although they were scorning, they sometimes got bellyache. They palmed it off and said, “Well I am scorning even bellyache.” Some of them died in agony crying out, “It is only logical to die in agony considering what has happened beforehand.” But when they did this people could laugh about them and say, “There is manifestly something wrong with their principle.” Most people do not know that all that is the matter wrong with the Stoics is Aristotelian Logic. It is the logic that is at fault because if they pursued their logic to its term they would come to the continuum. If they came to the continuum they would then assert their absolute identity with the people they are scorning and they would then scorn their own erroneous idea. But this fellow, at the top level who has this supreme vice of unconditioned, free initiation of being a pest, he frightens everybody, they do not know what to do with him. They can’t even guarantee that if he does die groaning that he is not joking. This is the kind of thing that was raised by the Christian thinkers about Christ. In the very early years following the death of Christ, much energy was expended trying to find out whether he was joking. Was he pretending, was he really dead? Did he arrange with friends to take him down before he had actually died? Was the whole thing rigged? There is plenty of literature that says so, not only Robert Graves but other great thinkers postulated that he was a joker. Nobody could tell with that fellow whether he is a joker.
Now, response-ability as opposed to –ibility; response-ability is simply the ability to respond and initiative does not need a stimulus, initiative can create its own stimulus in itself and respond to that without reference to anything outside it, whereas responsibility is liability to be called to account by superior powers. But, this initiative will has no superior power so it is not responsible, it is response-able but not responsible. No one can call it to account.
When Salome did her dance she was expressing something. You remember that Herod, whose name signifies ‘hierarchy of powers’ the separation of a man who is pursuing power from the beings over whom he hopes to get power, this man and the Lady Herodias, remember, in the biblical symbology, the Bible is entirely in code, in biblical symbology a woman always signifies the affective, volitional aspect and the man the intellective, ideational aspect, so Herodias symbolises the driving, emotive aspect of Herod’s will to power and it is she who cooked up the scheme whereby John the Baptist is beheaded.
Now, John the Baptist, if you remember, is a forerunner of Christ, born six months earlier, and he is a cousin of the same fellow and he symbolises the intellect involved in the material world, but not like an empirical scientist. He is not pursuing power over other people. He is merely investigating the possibilities of the material world as such, its functional possibilities. Now this particular fellow is arrested and put in jail and then murdered. And he symbolises your intellect, not as pursuing power, your intellect engaged in the study of this substantial, material world, not merely the world outside your skin like the empirical scientists but the substantial world also inside your skin. It involves an introversion into substantial states and it is very significant that when Salome strips off the seven veils she carries Herod through to this level of absoluteness, and Herodias, his will to power, his feminine aspect of his own being, willed that he should be god on Earth. If you bother to read the history of Herod you will find that he was carrying on as if he were God, and declaring himself to be such. The will to make a finite physical man vectored towards power dominion, into a god, is Herodias. Now, she cannot carry on with her will unless she beheads John the Baptist. That means to say, unless the intellect in you which is vectored into the material world, not for power reasons, is struck out of commission, is made non-functional, then your individual will to power and dominion over other people cannot work uninterrupted. But you will observe another funny thing about that codebook. The moment John the Baptist is beheaded, his intellective principle is removed, immediately the disciples of the Christ become highly active. It is taken as a signal, the beheading of John the Baptist becomes a signal, all the Disciples of Christ now go about with great vigour, doing extra work. They have been waiting for this. And this means, psychologically, within the individual, that when this will to power, Herod, aided by his will, his wife who cooks up this trick to behead John the Baptist, actually kills this intellect in himself, signified by John, which is investigating the material world simply in order to see how it really functions but not with the intent to dominion, when he kills this, then every other part of his being, signified by discipline, under the Logos, remember Christ is Cosmic Logos, all the self-disciplines in that same being now begin to go about inside and make converts. This means that the individual human being with his will to dominion over other people must kill his own will to investigate the material world, John the Baptist, without the power intent, and that at the very moment he kills the intellectual investigation of the world, not in pursuit of power, then all those other parts of his own being which belong to the highest reaches of pure intellect in him, become operative in his being and start making converts. This is equivalent to Herod going mad. This is equivalent to the will to power in the individual being defeated by its own act. The logic is, that if you kill your investigation of the material world which is being conducted not for dominion purposes, that the moment you do so, you deprive yourself of the information you need in order to have dominion and that in this self-deprivation you release other aspects of your being which are called disciples of this Logos Christ, and these other aspects then run about and they convert other parts of your body so that you actually cannot pursue power and dominion over other people. You become a mass of inconsistencies. So we see here that the veiling process, signified by the lower intellect of the empirical scientific order can be viewed under a totally different way, the way of John the Baptist.
Now remember that John the Baptist is a cousin of Jesus, that he is born to an older woman whose name means let there be lots and lots of work in that house, which means get on with your development. She is older, she is substantially older; this means that you are calling on ancestral experiences inside you, whereas the Jesus symbol springs out of a young woman, a virgin, which means your new substance which you are growing inside yourself because you know that you change your substance, chemically, every time you change your emotions and reasons. So that as you abandon the will to power so you progressively purify our substance until it becomes like a virgin girl. Remember girls in the Bible symbolise, as daughters, derivative wills, and as wives, correspondent wills to a given idea. So that this Mary that gives birth to this Jesus is nothing but your own substance purified of the will to dominion over other beings and this cousin of Mary’s signifies the mother of your empirical intent to investigate the material world but not for physical dominion over other beings.
Now, imagine a situation in which veiling occurs only providing that you do not understand that form is veiling. Supposing you know that form is veiling, that function veils, and supposing you deliberately formulate and function, but with a full consciousness that it is a veil you are wearing, then this is no veil to you. Any action that can be done in a negative manner, in an encapsulating manner, no matter what it is, including falling in love and things like that, all these things can be done so permeated with awareness that what is being done is nothing but an intent of the free initiative at the top level to experience function, formal possibilities and relationships. So that at the very moment when these seven veils are removed by the penetrating insight that arises from meditating in this way, at that very moment when the veils are removed, it is permissible to put them all back on again and be decent. One then sees through all the veils that are on people, remember, when you look at a person you are looking at seven veils, and if you watch very, very carefully, you will discover that certain people are not as veiled as other people in two totally different ways. One person who has felt deprived, feeling deprived over a long period, may suddenly make a self-exposure, but this self-exposure is negative. It is not an attempt to show the absolute, it is an attempt to show some veil that has not functioned. The other way is to say, “I take a veil off only in order to reveal,” that is, to cover up again in a very special way. You notice the most mysterious book in the Bible, The Revelation, is the one that says it is the revelation. It is the one that says, “I will explain everything to you,” and then talks about red dragons and scarlet women, beasts with ten horns and so on, all in terribly clear symbols; so much so that there is not one book in the whole world that explains The Revelation in any way that is functionally useful because the secret behind that book is that the book contains a total history of all the past of the whole universe, all the future of the whole universe and the simultaneity of the eternal present of that same universe in a very subtle symbology. All the veils are there and to re-veil is to cover it up again in another way. The reason for this is that if you were to remove all the veils that exist in being you would land back in the Absolute. There would be no solution of a problem because there would be no problem. You would simply be Absolute and you would not be existential and therefore, The Revelation is written in a highly veiled manner so that in the act of trying to penetrate the veil, you discover the meaning of the veil and put it on again. You put it on so that anyone who comes along looking for the truth behind the veil will not be able to see it until they have developed so far that when they are able to take it off they put it on again. A very, very high metaphysical concept like that is the cause of what we call female modesty, that ladies would rather be seen in a transparent nightie than no nightie. It is difficult to believe that there is a commensurability between these two things but there is. It is the same thing that in aesthetic sensitivity says do not run about totally nude in a relation where you are trying to be truthful with somebody, but rather, if you wish to expose yourself, get dressed in so many veiling clothes that your form can hardly be seen. And, only when you are totally veiled will you be taken seriously as telling the truth about yourself. If you feel the desire to expose yourself and take off all your veils it simply indicates your immaturity because the Absolute has veiled the Universe on purpose because all that is called the Universe is nothing but a system of veils, but, the veils are there because if you remove them and expose the naked truth all you will have is the Absolute and you won’t be there to observe it.
So we see that this evolutionary process of man means, that as in the Absolute sense there is nothing and then there is initiative, and this initiative will posits a macrocosmic form, the highest intellect; and then it penetrates into that intellect and selects from it a preferred area, as positing stars through infinite space and then positing itself preferring to be in the Solar System, and then having planets going round the Sun, and then positing itself on a preferred location, the Earth. These internal preferences within this Infinite have a very real meaning. And then to go down below the level of preferred response to invest the posited matter which the Absolute posited itself as primary energy quanta, and to manipulate these into what we call material, historical existence. Just as we involve in this order so to evolve we must take them off in the reverse order so that we must actually do with experiments, physically, like this to make quite sure that we do comprehend that we are veiled by physical facts. There are certain kinds of very useful exercises to do this. See if you can concentrate with that kind of noise. If you have got tape recorders, put on the tape recorders some very un-harmonious drumming sounds, preferably not too rhythmical, and put them on full volume and then see if you can ignore them. Now, if you can actually ignore these noises, then you have broken the veil of the external knock-level world.
Having broken that veil you can switch off the tape recorder and the neighbours will not rush in and complain. Then you have to go on to the next level. For this one you must lie down and relax so that you are not using your body in a knock sense and you must then feel inside yourself your own existence, and you discover that this is based on pressures, tensions, tensions of muscles and processes of osmosis and so on, facts of perspiration, little gurglings in the tum, all kinds of things. When you can lie there with all these biological functions and make yourself conscious with the fact that your blood is circulating, that one leg is tighter than the other, that one leg is colder than the other. That is easy for me. And then proceed to ignore it, to make yourself thoroughly aware of it, and then switch it off. Not that you go back into the physical knocking level, but you lie there and you have an awareness but no biological process within it. That breaks the biological veil.
Having done that, probably Tuesday, you then go on to the next level where you take your lower preferred responses, the so called animal desires, and you actually contemplate, review, and you look at wonderful armchairs and ladies upside down for sitting on, and things like that, and you saturate yourself in the sensuous nonsense of that brilliant genius who makes them. And when you are quite sure you are responding in that lower animal type manner then you switch off. Don’t wait until it dies down or you have been distracted; turn our mind away from it, so the whole process collapses like an electro-magnetic field does when you switch off. You cannot do this kind of - (this is the John the Baptist type of work) you can’t do this unless you first make yourself aware of it. You can’t give up something if you do not know what it is you are giving up.
And then you go on to the next level of your higher preferred responses, your desire to be good. And this is very hard because most people want to be good but for a totally wrong reason. They think that if they are good they will be rewarded, by anybody, God, or the woman next door, or even the landlord might not chase you so much. If you are good, if you have got any feeling that you want to be good in you, first you exalt this feeling so you are quite sure you want to be good, that you would like to be a thoroughly spiritual being without bothering to define what it means, but you would really like to be it, and when you are quite sure you would like to be it and that it is rewarded with the most wonderful, heavenly delights, which you also do not define, and when you are thoroughly worked up about this goodness, then you switch off. Make sure it collapses immediately. That is the removal of that veil.
Then you go on to your lower intellect and you actually work by deliberately looking at material objects and realising that if you understand exactly what makes a clock tick or a motor car engine run or a ballistic missile work and so on, that you actually have a capacity to force matter to give up all kinds of secrets until you actually begin to see that it does this and that technical know how can change your status in the business, might even lift you up to the dizzy level of managing director or something like that. When you get there, this state of sudden illumination that really it is possible to elevate one’s stock in the world of technology, and then you suddenly switch off, you repudiate it absolutely, so that there is no desire in you whatever to be a know-how technical wizard. That is the end of that bit.
Then you go onto that horrible Stoic level where you begin to comprehend that if you understand the logic of the universe, you are smarter than another fellow. If you really understand the logic of the universe you will actually find there are certain principles, philosophical principles of which, in Europe, you have two and a half thousand years to play with and these philosophical principles, thoroughly understood, will allow you to get a job on Sunday morning on the T.V. with a fellow called Wormser doing the animation, and with the aid of these things you will shine, brilliantly as a philosopher. And then you must suddenly switch this off. You must abandon all scornings that have arisen in your mind automatically because you cannot really comprehend cosmic logic and mathematics and geometry in this high sense without at least a tiny tendency to scorn beings who cannot. But then you switch it off.
Then you have that hardest of all veils, initiative. This is a very high level to get to because you have to eliminate body awareness, bio magnetic awareness, the mere feeling that you are alive, your lower desire, your higher desire, your lower intellect, your higher intellect and you have to come to grips with the fact that you, whatever you might mean, in the centre of your being there is initiative, there is something like a light shining about the place and wherever it shines, something happens. There is convergence of light, there is a sudden brightening in the Infinite Equable light and this brightening is your initiative. And you have to recognise that you have always, throughout the whole of your life, conducted your processes in this initiatory manner. You have chosen what you do, chosen where you are born, chosen your relation with other beings, nothing has been inflicted upon you other than that to which you expose yourself by your own initiative, and you become aware of your arbitrariness at this level. You become aware that there are not any rules that you need to obey and you must deliberately encourage yourself to enjoy the supreme arbitrariness of the a-moral, a-social, non-ethical will till you are galloping away with this wonderful free initiative, and then you must switch off and make yourself stand absolutely still and you must realise that you are an eternal continuum, in which all the other beings you can meditate about are simply other points of initiation, which you, as identified with the Absolute have initiated for the interplay with the point from which you started. And then, you must deliberately not condense on the particular physical body from which you started. Don’t do anything at all with it, don’t initiate. Now, when this happens the Absolute acts absolutely through the whole continuum and something happens that cannot happen any other way, that the being that does this goes into the Absolute and the Absolute then manipulates total reality from this new datum, … and the seventh veil is removed.
Now, at this point, the Absolute puts all the veils back on again so that you still look like an ordinary human being with a physical body and with life processes and desires, lower and higher, and intellect, lower and higher and with a degree of individual initiative, except that you know that inside, you have no initiative whatever, that you have no superior Cosmic Logic, that you have no lower logic, that you have no desire to be good, that you have no desire to vector down into the animal world, that you have no life and that you have no physical body. But the Absolute has and you are quite happy to leave it in the hands of the Absolute.
It is a very difficult thing to explain in a linear manner what that means. One existentialist has coined the term ‘Unconditional Imperative’ to express just one aspect of it. If you imagine the sky as it used to be taught in the Ancient World, they used to think the sky is a sort of dark indigo curtain and behind this curtain there is an illimitable light, and the curtain is a bit tatty, there are holes in it here and there, and through these holes the illimitable light shines and the people on Earth think they are stars. Now, this is not the pathetic attempt of a stupid man of the ancient world to apprehend reality as represented by historians of philosophy. It was something totally different. It was a statement of fact. What was meant by that was that there is a veiling process, signified by indigo, that this veiling process means that there is a light level beyond the level of the empirical sense organs of man or of any animal, or any creature whatever, and that this illimitable light, which is a dark light, that illimitable light squeezes itself onto points and through these points and changes phase in the act of self-squeezing, so that, what comes through the point of squeeze is what we call starlight. And this veil, this indigo veil, runs right through infinite space and all that we call stars are step down transformers of an Absolute Power and all that we call desire in the animal and human and thought, is nothing but the embodied function of such celestial lights squeezed from the Infinite into the time process.
And therefore, at the top level we have this final veil which cannot be removed by an individual and which is a veil, conceptually to a philosopher on Earth and is a veil to the Absolute but it is a veil of the Absolute itself, willing itself as a veil. In other words, if we imagine a continuum which is a contains throughout itself, all its possibilities absolutely, so there is no point of that continuum that you can touch which is not full of actualities at a very high level of power and that this itself condensing itself into the time process, produces phenomena which are viewed through this veil of the Absolute, by the Absolute which is veiling itself, in the same way that you have a screen on which you throw pictures and, if the screen were not there to stop the light and throw it back in the eye of the audience, here would be no film show. You must have this screen and the Absolute must have it too so that the actual Absolute Power serves as a veil to itself which it wills, absolutely, never to be removed, but it, on its side, knows that it is a veil. It knows what the veil is for, it is a method of cutting down on its absolute light, a method whereby, having compressed light into particular points that we call stars, it can filter them through and cause the time process to display itself and throw itself back on that screen so that the Absolute enjoys the whole process of creation, absolutely.
You have some index of this in your own mind when you look at the external world with your eyes open and then you close your eyes and remember something you have seen. The fact that you can see that thing means to have an equivalent to that screen in your own being. If you go into a pitch dark room and close your eyes and relax, after a time you will become conscious that there is some kind of light function there. It is not as dark as it theoretically ought to be. If you were to open your eyes and get the sensation as if you were looking, energy will drift in the nervous system, towards the retina from behind and start bombarding that retina which is your veil, your screen and will project from the infinite onto the back of your eye the images first, of your memories, and then as if those bore you, of the memories of your ancestors, and then, as you get fed up with those, that takes a bit longer, then cosmic ones and finally, the Absolute itself appears and appears to be projected in that pitch black room. So that, you are then in a process of self-experiencing as an individual what the Absolute experiences for itself. You project into that pitch blackness from the depth of your own being your total content, in which you recognise that whatever you have done in prior history in any life you have ever had, was simply a creation of your own, by you for your self- experience. And then when you open your eyes and go out into the ordinary waking world and look around, you will recognise the veiling processes in other people. You will see that the world you are looking at and everybody in it, you are willing to see in exactly the way you are seeing it and you will recognise that this veiling process has a use. And you will affirm it and you will affirm the veiling of other people, the veiling of their intents. You will never want a person to tell you the truth after that, because you know that that truth is a veil, and if you are going to be offered veils you don’t care what kind of veil you are offered. You will put on your own veils out of respect for other people’s inability to absorb the Absolute Truth.
And you will not require absolute truth for another person because you know it costs them too much energy to discover it. And you also know that if they could discover it simultaneously, they would all disappear anyway, and therefore you do not set out in the relation to drag what you call the truth out of that other person as a basis of your own security in the relation. You will the relation from within your own centre. You do not require the other person to will the relation from that person’s centre. They will do that any way. You never require it. The less you require, the more you get. The less you demand truth the more you can have it, and always veiled. The best lovers are aware of that because they never talk about themselves, they talk about anything but; it is all figures of speech.
Remember, the ultimate is seen in that triad of letters AMN, the Amen. A is the Absolute, M is the substantial aspect of the same which veils it, and N is the relative motion that arises as a result of the action of the Absolute upon its own veil. So, when you say “Amen to that,” of any proposition, what you are really saying, if you understand the word is that you affirm, absolutely, whatever is happening in the existential situation in which you find yourself, that you affirm it absolutely, that you do not wish to escape from it because you know that what you are affirming is the Absolute Being which is your own very substance. You are the Absolute, A, you are the substance M, you are the functional interplay of these two, N, and then you will say, “Amen,” to your own being, absolutely.