Transcribed by Caroline Freestone April 2006
How is it we’re all so clever, considering we never do anything to deserve it?
Or more specifically, if a genius is born, a sort of Mozart, and is playing brilliantly at four and composing music, how does all this information get into him or through him?
Let’s go back to our primary life form. We’ll take a simple single cell like an amoeba. We know that this cell has certain qualities, the basic one of which we call irritability. Irritability if you remember is the capacity of the protoplasm of the living being to respond to a stimulus, and to retain the form of this stimulus and of its own response, and to modify its behaviour in accordance with the stimulus and the response. We’ll put an arrow here to represent the stimulus, and the energy of the stimulus going into the protoplasm causes a ripple pattern within the protoplasm.
It goes inside to the furthest wall of this monocell and then is reflected back. The energy going in we can call the experience of the stimulus and the energy going from the walls reflecting back to the stimulus source we can call the reaction. And we will notice that this reaction is merely the motion of the stimulus gone in and being returned from the walls of this monocell. So in a very peculiar sense the reaction is the action.
We will tie this up with two different concepts of causation. The European causation we have said is based on an image rather like billiard balls touching each other in a line, the idea being if we take a cue and strike one ball at the end, the motion of the cue is transmitted through all the billiard balls and the end one then rolls away. And this is a concept of causality where a blow is being struck, imparted to a material form by another material form, which has been set in motion. The word cause - Latin ‘causus’ - to strike. The European concept of causation therefore is a force applied, producing a change.
But in Indian philosophy there is another concept of causality and that is that the effect of a cause is simply the energy of the cause expressing itself. The effect is the ex-fact. The fact is of course ‘facere’, to do – we double the ‘f’ because there’s another letter the ‘ec’, the out-fact, and the cause is the force.
Now let us look at this causality concept. Instead of in the linear sense, like European causation, we’ll look at it in terms of field force, the infinite sentient power of the universe is a field of force. Einstein calls it a uni-field, because he believes that there is just one field. In the concepts of the Advaita of the non dualistic philosophy in India, this concept of monism is inferior to the concept of non dualism. Einstein’s uni-field is a field which is considered to be a continuum of force. This field of force demonstrates its creativity by condensing onto centres. In this Einstein theory, matter is simply the zone where the lines of force of the field are condensed.
If we take this Indian concept, we have a field, the infinite, the Absolute, and in its Absoluteness it is beyond all conception. It is the para Brahman, the beyond the Brahman, which is the worship of God, because the idea of a god that is worshipped presupposes a worshipper and this is a dualistic concept, where the worshipper and the worshipped are separated. But there must be some unifying factor behind the worshipper and the worshipped, and this must be beyond both - this ‘para’ means beyond, as it does in paradox, beyond the opinion.
This field of force presses in towards a centre and in its contraction, in its con-centration, it develops an objective world. Remember the word ‘ob’ in object is the same as the word ‘orb’. It means a sphere, a sphere thrown, injected, into the field, by the field contracting itself. Now the field, we say, is sentient power, ‘sp’ the first two words of spirit. The ‘s’ is an old glyph of a serpent and the ‘p’ is a glyph of the male positing organ, and therefore the undulating form of Absolute motion is represented as a serpent, and the positing of this is when this undulating motion turns upon itself, and thus stimulates a zone circumscribed, which can serve as a centre on which one can press. The field then condenses, condemns itself, to self objectification.
Now in this concept of causality the effect is simply the cause involved. The causal power has willed into a centre and condensed itself, and the object in the centre is simply the causal power condensed. So it is not a linear, serial concept like the billiard balls of Western causality. It is the concept of creative causality where the created thing is simply the causal power, self objectified.
Now in our diagram of the amoeba we did the circle and we put an arrow outside it to represent the incoming energy, which we called the stimulus. The motion of this energy within the confines of the circle representing the cell, that motion is the experience of the stimulus. And the reflection of that motion inside the cell back to the point of stimulus is what we call the cell reaction.
If we now go into this other concept of causality, the Hindu concept, we find that we have a very similar diagram. That is to say, we have a zone that is circumscribed, that’s like a monocellular animal and the forces that are striking upon it, the environing forces that constitute the stimuli for that zone are simply field forces of the same order as the being itself. And I have a basic logical law that says, those things can act upon each other which are in some respects alike. Things that are totally unlike, cannot interact. So if there is an amoeba and there is a stimulus situation and these two interact, then there must be a fundamental similarity between the stimulus situation and the body receiving the stimulus.
We can only explain this in one way, by seeing this body receiving the stimulus as a function of a field, causing a circumscription of a zone within the field, and the so-called stimulus energy is simply the field function beyond this finiting circle. We now see that an individual being like a monocell or like a human being, which is simply a monocell with cell walls placed inside it to polarise it, this cell is simply a zone of the field, and outside this zone there is more field, and the whole field is sentient power.
So we can write ‘sp’ inside the circle, we can write ‘sp’ outside the circle. If we write the ‘i-r-i-t’ after it, the ‘i-r’ is the same thing as running about, a point running about, and the ‘i-t’ is the same point crucified. When two motions cross each other at the intersection point of the two, the forces mutually stimulate each other and interfere with each other. So that two beings talking to each other can be represented as two arrows, two reflectant forces crossing each other and interfering with each other. The conversation is mutual interference.
Now when we start with this infinite field of Absolute motion, there is the sentient power that religionists have called spirit, we are talking about something that Absolutely is infinite, that is, it is not finite, not limited in any whatever, and yet factually we as finite physical beings exist within it. So we have to account for our own arising, for our own coming to be within a field, and we do this simply by positing that this field has the power to centre itself, to contract, to condense its own power on a point.
Now let us say that the infinite field would of itself be represented by nothing whatever. We always use the plain paper to represent this field but when we come to consider what the field is doing we have to say, let us wave the paper and let us look at the form of the motion of the paper and then we will draw lines upon the paper representing the ripples. Well we have to imagine this paper representing this sentient power is self moving, self propagating - ‘s’ for self and ‘p’ for propagate - it is self propagating its motion and it is doing so simultaneously in all directions. The result is we can represent a travelling wave going in any direction whatever and we can draw any number of these waves propagating through infinite space, just as the ripples in a bowl of water can be seen to be travelling in all directions simultaneously within the one bowl of water.
Now wherever the forces within this field intersect they interfere with each other, and forces in opposition cause a rotation. Now when this rotation is considered in its simplest form we have to say that it is a simple circumscribed zone in which so far no characteristics have been posited. It is simply a plain zone circumscribed. It is like a circular white card with no marks upon it. It is the tabula rasa, the plain sheet of the scholastic philosophers. Now when we do this we’re actually positing a purely abstract idea, because there is no circle that is absolutely plain, because the circle itself is within a field of Absolute motion.
Now we will draw the motion within the field in light grey lines travelling in all directions and we will see that the motions which are travelling through this circumscribed zone produce within that zone a pattern. I have deliberately drawn them light grey because I want to represent this inner zone inside the circumscription line as criss cross with all conceivable directions. Now there is energy of the field passing through the field and the field is a continuum, therefore every motion of the field passes infinitely in all directions. Within a circumscribed zone therefore, the motion must also be Absolute, that is it must contain all conceivable directions whatever.
So that if we draw two such zones or three such zones we have to crisscross these zones with motion patterns, and the motion patterns of each being are identical with all beings. At the level of individual human beings it means that every human being contains all the constituent motions of all human beings and at this level no human being is cleverer than another human being. This is the meaning of the statement, in the eyes of God all men are equal. And yet there is a very peculiar fact that we observe in the time process, that though they are equal essentially in their Absolute motion, they are not equal in their function and performance in the time process. And this is what we have to account for.
We could say that every circumscribed zone of sentient power contains within its actuality of motion the pattern of all conceivable activities that it can perform. And this pattern is an actual pattern, an actual motion of the field, viewed within this zone. How then, can we explain that some beings in the time process have different functions from other beings? How do these Mozarts and Shakespeares and things arise if all men are essentially identical?
Now to solve this problem all we have to do is to notice a peculiar thing. And that is, as soon as we circumscribe a zone we have brought into being the possibility of contingent relation. That is to say, the perimeters of these two beings can come into contact within the field. The circumscribing line, the integument, the binding membrane of each being, can in fact strike against another being. And when it does so, from this touch relation, this contingent relation, a new kind of ripple arises from the contingent stimulus, from the fact of physical contact arises a new kind of information, a formation within the circumscribed zone.
Now every cell therefore that comes into contingent relation with another one has two characteristic motions within itself. One is Absolute - and in relation to this every being is omniscient - and the other one is contingent, and in relation to this one – the contingent one – everybody’s knowledge is relative to the contingent stimulus situation.
Now when two monocells come together and strike each other in the contingent relation, they introduce a finited motion to each other which is quite different from the Absolute motion of the infinite, because this finite motion is superstressed. Out of the totality of Absolute motions there has been selected by the movement of one of these monocells a particular direction. Now this particular direction is simply one of the infinite number of directions in the Absolute and therefore is quite valid as a movement, because it is simply an already pre-existing movement within the Absolute which at the level of the Absolute is Absolutely right, but which in the selection of this direction and its insertion into the particular active zone we call the temporal process, has factually superstressed a given direction and now proceeds to impose this particularised direction and its effect on another being in the contingent relation.
We immediately see that if a particular being distorts its form - and because it is sentient power it can do so, and we see in fact that an amoeba distorts its form when it is pursuing its food - if a particular being of a particular form comes into contingent relation with another being, it imposes on that other being a photograph, that is a characteristic motion of itself, and this contingent pattern, this particularised pattern of the being that has modified itself, has now impressed onto the other being as a superstress.
Now all the motion possibilities of time are already simultaneously co-present in the Absolute motion and yet this Absolute motion has all these possibilities exactly equally stressed and therefore not expressed, not pressed outwards, into temporal manifestation. But when a particular one of these cells distorts itself, we’ll say makes itself into a triangle, and then presses upon its neighbour, it imposes a picture of triangularity upon its neighbour. This is the root of the educational system. You take a form of one order and you introduce it to a being that has not got that form superstressed. And yet the form you are introducing into it is already in it in a non superstressed state. It could not respond to the incoming stimulus formally unless it had within itself already this form. So that the temporal stimulus merely makes us conscious of some of the possibilities of our own being.
Now let’s see how this progressively adds up to the appearance of a Shakespeare or a Mozart or a Goethe. We can see immediately that if we place a given being in an environment surrounded by triangles and all these triangles proceed to stimulate this being, it will become full of triangles. It will develop an ability to respond to a triangular situation. It will be very clever at responding to triangles. And if we now lift this being experimentally out of the field of triangles and place it in a field of squares, then we find that it will have to learn by accepting the square stimuli how to adapt itself to the squares, because the angles in the squares are not the same as the angles in the triangles. So it will have to go through a conditioning process of adjustment to the square stimuli.
But when it has gone through this it will then have triangles and squares with inside itself. Now a being that has triangles and squares is superior to a being that has only either squares or triangles, superior in response ability. If therefore we imagine a particular portion of protoplasm – living substance - being pushed through many experiences over a long period of time, some square, triangular, crescent shaped, pentagonal and so on, whatever the shape of the stimuli, if it stays in the environment long enough to acquire the capacity for dealing with that formal stimulus, then it is raising its response ability. If we therefore push it through a sufficient number of environmental stimulus situations to cover all the stimuli possible to present to it in the time process, then that being will have optimal response.
For instance, if we take a terrestrial being with the atmosphere of the earth with a certain percentage of oxygen and various other gases in it, when we have developed the power to live by breathing this atmosphere, it does not follow that we can go on to the planet Venus and immediately start breathing. There the situation is slightly different and we would find that the temperature is a bit high and the content of the atmosphere is not quite what it is on Earth and we’d have to acquire the art of breathing Venusian air. If we did so we’d have greater survival capacity than a being that could only breathe on either Venus or the Earth.
If we then consider the meaning of sexuality, that is of cutting of portions of the protoplasm off the parent protoplasm and throwing them forward into the future, we can see that all the experiences which are engrammed into a given piece of protoplasm are also within the piece of protoplasm which is being projected forward as a child. Now the purpose of sexuality is a return to a unity that is destroyed in the act of dividing the being. This is the meaning of the ‘sect’ of the sectioning.
If we represent the Adam or man prior to the polarisation we could represent him as a sphere, on the plain surface as a circle. Now this circle would be sufficient to itself but it would have no value unless we introduced duality into it, because value presupposes difference. And so in the Genesis myth and in certain other myths in other religions, this man and woman are separated, that is the protoplasm splits into two halves. One is male and the other is female, only in so far as one of them is slightly more active and the other slightly more passive.
Now when these two beings are separated a definite amount of energy is required to separate them. And this imposes a strain on the field. We must remember that this organism, this monocell that splits is simply a modality of the field energy. So that when we split an amoeba, split a monocell, we have used a definite amount of field energy in order to separate them. And to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and therefore the field must be trying to bring them back together again, to re-assert their original unity.
Now it would be of no biological use in the gaining of powers of adaptability, response ability, if the split halves went into an identical environment and had exactly the same experience. When they came back together again and fused, they would be no wiser than they were the first time. What we find by the law of the inequality of finites is that the environment differs. If I, say, draw a pool and then draw the section of the pool showing its depth, perhaps at the edge of this pool the water is shallow and in the middle it is deep.
Now imagine that a cell is dividing itself and thus multiplying and some of them are going into deep water and some of them are going into shallow water. Now in these two different environments they are acquiring different formal characteristics in the different stimulus situations. Consequently, the one that has gained adaptability in the shallow water thing and the one that has gained adaptability in the deep water situation, when they come together again and fuse, they have in fact added characters to each other in the fusion.
Let’s see how this happens. We draw a circle. We divide it vertically down the middle and we’ll say, imagine this half separates, ‘A’ and ‘B’. ‘B’ goes to the sinister side and ‘A’ to the dexter side. They stay apart for some time and they come back together again and ‘A’ has had experiences in an environment ‘X’ and ‘B’ has had experiences in an environment ‘Y’. Now they come together and they join on the median line. Both halves have ‘AX’ characteristics, ‘BY’ characteristics, and now when they separate the next time, they divide at right-angles to the original division. And they now separate vertically, not to right and left but up and down, and the two halves now show characteristics of both ‘X’ and ‘Y’ ‘AB’.
Now in exactly the same time, these two beings have been having this experience and by splitting in two they have saved time, they’ve had the same experience time but the quality, the form of the experience differs in the same time. So they have used the same time to have different experiences. So in splitting they have done something, they have had experiences in half the time that they would have had to acquire all that information, if they had remained as one egg.
So the basic idea in splitting is to fulfil all the experiential possibilities of the universe. And then coming together again to fuse this information derived from all these various environments and put it together in a new pattern, and this pattern gives the power to respond in a large number of ways to different types of environment.
Now let’s see why these beings should in fact bother to acquire a capacity for responding to a variety of environments. Why should they bother to do it? Well there are two basic things about it, one is for survival and the other is for interest, for the actual joy in the function, and these two aspects are equally important. Because we only survive in order to enjoy, and the purpose of the enjoyment cannot be fulfilled without surviving in order to do it.
Let’s turn for a moment to the myth of the Fall. This occurs in many religions. The idea that there has been a Fall and that this Fall has endangered life. We find that the word ‘evil’ is the reverse of the word ‘live’. Evil is anti living, evil is another word for that which stops the life process. Now when it says a Fall has occurred in all these great myths, it means that today at whatever level historically we are considering, the men who are talking about the Fall are very, very conscious of their impotence. They are conscious that they are weaker than they want to be and there is an inference from it. Here is a being and he is saying to himself, I am weaker than I want to be. And from this we can logically infer certain things.
A being knows only the modifications of its own substance and it can not know other than these modifications. If there are any other beings beyond it, it cannot know of these beings, except in so far as those beings strike upon its own sensorium and it then responds to this assumed stimulus and it is still knowing only the modifications of its own substance. The reason it assumes there is another source for its experience, than its own will, is simply because it has no control over certain aspects of its own response.
From the centre of a being may arise a will to do something and when this inner impulse is felt to rise up and then move towards expression, there is no feeling whatever that there is another being involved. The energy arises in the centre and moves to the perimeter and expresses itself in action. But when action occurs which has not been originated in the centre of the being, then the being must assume some other centre to account for the change in its own being. And this assumed other centre is called the stimulus source. So that if I act from my own centre, I feel, perhaps with my eyes closed, I do not need to posit the existence of other beings when I am doing something deliberately. I commit a certain act, I will open my hand, I will close it. It corresponds with it.
Now if I start moving my hand through the air at my will and I am not bothering to think what I am doing other than this, I am moving my hand through the air without thinking, and I suddenly hit myself on the knee. And there is my knee and there’s the pencil hitting the knee. From the point of view of the knee, the pencil is external. The hand holding it is connected to an arm that is connected to a body, that is connected to the knee. But if I was not at the time considering I have a knee somewhere, when I struck violently with a pencil, if I hit myself on the knee like a baby sometimes does, the knee interprets this as an external stimulus, as an external stimulus relative to the knee, not to the whole organism.
So I find that by bending my body over I can stimulate myself as if from outside. This is the serpent with his tail in his mouth again. But when I do this I impose on myself a concept of limitation. If I start to close my hand, my fingers are free and as I bend them I find they’re beginning to press on each other. This is a restriction. I close it further, my fingers press into the palm. I grip it to make a fist. I grip very hard and now I’m really contradicting myself. I am willing to contract, but my fist is not getting smaller, there’s a certain limiting factor there. This is a basic experience. I am trying to do something to contract on a centre in the middle of my first but my hand is not getting smaller. This is a realisation of impotence. I am trying to do something and I cannot do it.
This gives me a strong consciousness that somehow something has gone wrong. I should be able to fulfil my will absolutely. And yet here is a strange situation where I am contracting my fingers together, pressing them into my palm and trying to reduce it to nothing, and all I’m reducing it to is the size of a fist. I can feel the energy contracting into it, I know that in principle I should be able to press all the energy of this fist down to an infinitesimally small point and make it disappear, and yet somehow the hand, which has become fist, is still there.
Now this is a realisation of my impotence and this is the root of our belief that there has been a Fall. Now how can we believe this unless there has been a Fall? The answer is we cannot believe it unless there has been a Fall. And this means to say we have a concept here of a power which is absolutely infinite plus the experience of a power that is finited. Now because this being, this circumscribed monocell is in fact circumscribed, a finite amount of power is within it, and in the contingent relation with another cell this finite power at the level of a contingent contact can only express itself finitely.
And yet this circumscribed zone is simply a zone of the field of the infinite sentient power, which has been circumscribed by the simple process of this field deliberately contracting onto a centre to make that zone. So we have a transcendent awareness, transcendent of the circumscribing line, that we are in fact infinitely powerful, infinitely wise, and yet factually at the circumscribed level we are far from infinitely powerful and wise. These are the two things. When they are co-presented in consciousness, we then have the root of the doctrine of the Fall. We realise that we have insufficient power to fulfil our will and therefore we think, how can we remove the limiting factors upon our power.
We have the will to power expressed consciously, only when we become aware of a limitation. The free propagation of spiritual power in infinity has no awareness of limitation because it has not yet made a limit. But as soon as it makes a limit, circumscribes a zone, then it becomes aware of a limiting factor. Then by pressing in upon it, this sentient power becomes identified with the zone and then it begins to believe that it is a finite being. It forgets that it is a modality of the infinite sentient power field and it begins to think of itself as a formed finite being within space. When it does so and the identification is complete, the Fall is complete. The Fall is simply the process whereby consciousness is dominated by the concept of finite existence.
Now when this zone has in fact identified itself with its finity and is therefore terribly restricted by its own definitions and yet running through it are all the Absolute motions of the field, reminding it that once things were not like they are, then the feeling that one has fallen is dominant and there’s a great urge to get out of this Fall, to reverse the Fall, to rediscover this power. And it is at this point that we see that the being that is conscious of its deficiencies is motivated by its awareness of its deficiencies to go into various fields of experience. It finds itself in fact surrounded with a lot of other beings in the same state and they’re all pursuing power.
Now whenever two beings strike together in the contingent relation, they modify each other with particular stimuli and these particular stimuli cause by resonance a superstressing of the Absolute motion that is going through each zone, and in the process of the informing of each of these cells we find a general elevation of response ability. When we look at the thing formally, that is to say intellectually, we say this raising of the formal content, this making more complex of the falling content, is the Raising of Cain.
As this being is circumscribed in the contingent relation, every stimulus that it gets convicts it of having fallen. So that as long as it is in a contingent relation, dependent on the physical contact with another being, it feels its dependency upon the stimulus of another being, and therefore it feels impotent. Because each one of them deeply in its essential field knows that it should not need this external contingent stimulus situation in order to fulfil its own will. It therefore directs itself through the field of its own point of view in search of further characterisation, further information, to give it greater and greater control and to reverse the effect of this Fall. In other words, it is struggling to overcome inner impotence and to return to the omnipotence it feels in the field that it essentially has.
But each one of these circles goes through space and in going through and coming into contingent relation with another one, it becomes progressively informed. But when there are several such beings and they’ve had a lot of different experiences and they are all pressing on one being, that being stands in a wonderful position, either of being destroyed or of elevated. If the order of incoming stimuli is such that it can not assimilate them and pattern them properly, it becomes confused and it tries to defend itself against the confusion.
And this is the origin of having children. In order to protect itself against the possibility of confusion, the possibility of not attaining the aim of omnipotence, it deliberately isolates a zone of itself, a zone of its own protoplasm, but it surrounds this with a very strong barrier of energy and this deposits a membrane, and it says, I will keep this zone and I will protect this zone from the confusion of the large number of stimuli coming at me. And this protected zone is what we call the sex cells in the body. It is a group of cells which are simply the sub-divisions of a zone of protoplasm that has been surrounded by a protective wall. They are encapsulated to stop the possibility of the whole being becoming confused, disorientated and failing to reach omnipotence, failing to reverse the Fall.
So when it surrounds this zone, it protects that zone in a large degree from the effects of the confusion. And from this zone it will throw out the elements that we call sex cells and they will then develop in a new environment and they will have a relatively fresh start of solving the problem of the search for omnipotence. But these cells, the sex cells within the body, unfortunately can not be protected absolutely, because factually they too are modalities of the field. They too are influenced by the characteristic motions in some degree of the body in which those sex cells have been separated.
So that although a growing child is defended in many ways from the hereditament of its mother and father, it is not absolutely defended. The things that are in it from the characteristics of mother and father are rendered very weak by the insulating envelope of energy round them, but they are not made totally secure. So that there remains inside the sex cells a patterning from the mother and father - again I draw it with a light grey line to represent that this patterning is not superstressed yet.
Now this patterning is the patterning that we call in the child in the mother, the prenatal engrammed pattern. It is the Samskara pattern of the Hindu philosophers. It is the form of the stimulus situation that acted upon the being we will now call the parent protoplasm - although in fact it is the same protoplasm - that acted upon the parent protoplasm, was superstressed in the parent protoplasm but was shielded from the superstress, so that only a faint shadow of that inner form appears in the child.
So that a child in utero is actually going through a series of stages, almost as if it were in a dream and it moves about in utero within its amniotic sac and it changes its position, it adjusts itself to the needs of its inner life and it dreams through the pattern of the experiences of the ancestors.
Now providing the external stimulus situation is not such as to re-stimulate or superstress any of these forms, when the child is extruded and born in the world separately from the parents, it has been given birth to, the pattern of the experience of the parents remains like a light grey line, it does not express itself in physical action. But if the external stimulus situation is such that it has a pattern correspondent with the one on the inside of this developing cell, then the external stimulus re-activates that constituent motion from the parent bodies and now this child becomes aware that it has a capacity for reaction like its mother and father.
Now it is this that constitutes what we call genius. If a given being has had many, many experiences and has been through many, many environments and has managed to attain a degree of integration and has not been overthrown, disorientated and confused by the multitude of stimuli, it has now patterned itself in a certain way and it may by good fortune - which means of course by strong unity of will - choose for itself a mate, that is another cell, which has also got itself patterned in a very good way, and then the two patterns fuse together and the resultant child of this now has a highly complex response ability – it is able to respond in special ways because of the fusion of the patterns of the experiences of the parents.
Now if we consider this child as a new thing, we will say, how clever this child is - its own individual efforts, by these efforts it is very, very clever. But if we remember that this child is simply a portion of the protoplasm of its mother and father, and grandmother and grandfather backwards, and we know that there is nothing in this child other than the Absolute motion which is the same in all beings, and the conditioning information from the contingent situation and stimulus in the environment, if we remember this fact, then this child isn’t clever at all as a separate entity, it is merely the recipient of all the efforts of all its predecessors. And yet in a very peculiar way it is still clever, because that piece of protoplasm which has become that child is the very piece of protoplasm that was in the parent body undergoing those experiences and making those efforts.
Now we’ve said before, if there are a pair of opposites, we must assert or deny both. And here we are with a pair of opposites, the idea of personal merit and the idea of no personal merit. They are both equally valid or equally invalid. We have to assert both. Wherever there is a talent, we know that that talent in that being is in that being and not another being, because the particular being under consideration is a portion of the protoplasm of the parent being which was striving in that direction. And consequently in a very real sense it is that same being.
Now supposing from generation to generation certain lines intermarry and produce children, and each one of these makes quite sure that it always marries a suitable partner with the right idea. Supposing they agree about the idea. Let’s take the idea of the Messiah, the necessity for a man who can embody in himself omnipotence and omniscience. This is the ideal of every man. And in a certain line in certain families, they’re so tremendously interested in this they deliberately try to bring their bodies into conformity with the idea and they deliberately expose themselves to experiential situations, such that their own protoplasm is conditioned and gains ability to respond in a highly complex environmental stimulus situation.
Now it does this for generation after generation and meanwhile the patterning of their experience is building up to a super pattern which finally results in the appearance of a child which has internally got a cosmic form, a microcosmic form identical with the macrocosmic form. This is a being who has total response ability and this means he has total self control. To have total response ability means the ability to modify one’s being, regardless of the nature of the stimulus presented. And this ability to modify one’s being, regardless of the stimulus, is the same thing as omnipotence.
We know that certain bacteria have done very cunning things. It used to be thought, not very many years ago, that if you boiled water you would kill bacteria in it. Now experiments over the last twenty odd years have shown that some bacteria are very canny. As soon as you start boiling them, they make a little sphere which they extrude and they change their form and they just stay in that form. And when you’ve finished boiling them for perhaps three or four hours or more, and the water goes cool again, then they simply change their form back into the original form and carry on as before.
Now this is a very high degree of adaptability. And fortunately, they have confined themselves to this one particular mode of self defence. It might be that these beings developed this capacity during volcanic periods and in places where hot water would suddenly squirt out of the ground, their self preservation need led to them developing this kind of adaptability. But the fact that this can happen, that there can be a life form that can survive boiling in this way points to the possibility of an Absolute adaptability of life form. And this is the ideal of the Messiah, that is of the being who represents, who incarnates, the capacity for total response in any conceivable situation.
Now it depends entirely on the growth of awareness of the pattern of possibilities within the being that this absolute adaptability shall be gained. We know that every being has this potentially, as far as time is concerned. We know that as far as eternity is concerned, it has it Absolutely. But in eternity this capacity which is Absolute and omniscient and omnipotent, is in no sense focused, it is not individualised and therefore it is of no use to us if it remains merely in the Absolute potential, while we are in fact in the time process. Somehow we have to import into the time process, by superstressing these Absolute possibilities, whatever there is of response ability, and in order to do this we have to expose ourselves in a temporal situation to those orders of stimuli that can conjure up in our consciousness, from the Absolute level, those means of self modification that lead to absolute adaptability.
When we consider that human protoplasm has simply become the human race by dividing itself and dividing itself and dividing itself – so if we cover the paper with lots of little circles, and we can say this is the English circle, the German circle, the French, the Italian, the Moroccan and so on, the Chinese, the Indian, the Negroid – all these different circles are fundamentally human protoplasm. They have the same number of chromosomes showing their common origin, they have undergone various modifications by exposure to different environments, they have willed to expose themselves in this way, and if when they have gained the total response spread over the whole human race, if then they bring these responses which they have gained from everywhere and they intermarry all these different experiences in the appropriate order, they will produce a being of total response ability.
This is why in the myth of the Messiah, this Messiah when he arrives must be all colours – he’s a rainbow man, he’s a spotted leopard, he’s a pantherian, he’s all animals, he is no race, he is no creed, he is all races, he is all creeds. Because he must have within himself the totality of all possibilities incarnated, and under the dominion of, his own consciousness and will.
Shortly we can say that wherever there is a talent in any individual today, we can say of that talent, as the Rabbis say about the fruit, the fruit that we eat is from trees planted by people who never knew us. And yet here is the strange fact, that every individual with a talent now living has got that talent by personal effort, his personal effort, but he must not conceive that he is as small as the being that he is now focused on. The child that develops into a man of talent is not simply the whole man who has striven for that talent. He is, if you like, the end of a growing finger of protoplasm and as he goes backwards through his parents, grandparents and so on, he is really dealing with the same person, in so far as that will to that particular talent has been frequently striven for by the same protoplasm over successions of generations.
‘Can new forms through already in potentia in the Absolute be superstressed in the individual other than by experiential situations? Say, from first principles?’
They can be. Yes, but observe a peculiar thing about this. If we take the Absolute, it is not a potential, it is an actuality. The motion of the Absolute is not a potential motion, it is an actual motion. It is only apparently potential from the point of view of a temporal being, when the temporal being has not got the power to use it. He calls it potential because he hasn’t got it. It’s potential to him but to the Absolute it is not potential, it is actual. Now this Absolute is sentient power and it can precipitate from its Absoluteness a centre of perfect response ability by sheer immediacy. It can in other words precipitate a Messiah, it can precipitate an intelligent being of total response, from the whole field. But although it can do this, it does not always do it, and it does not always do it for a very simple reason.
Because of its Absoluteness, it is of itself containing all conceivable possibilities and these possibilities are arranged in a hierarchy of powers. Now when this egg, this monocell divides into two, it has broken its primary ‘I am’-ness, its egocentricity if you like, into two parts and these two parts are now equally egotistic with the first part. And when these two divide again, each part from the resultant four is equally egotistic with its predecessors, simply because it is the predecessors, divided. And consequently as we pluralise the Absolute by creating zones of concentration, we are also pluralising egotism. And this means to say that there must be the same will to power in each finite that there is in the infinite source from which they came.
But as the infinite has a deep will to rule all things, so there must be a deep will in each finite being to rule all things. And therefore there is a very, very great need in all of the finites to be contradicted, so that no given finite shall in fact rule by its will to absolute power over all the other finites. If any one of these finites should succeed in gaining absolute power, it could then dictate to all the other finites if they had not gained it. And to make this an impossibility, the field sets up one such being of absolute power and then proceeds to remove this being so that the other beings have had a demonstration of what not to do.
Now if you take the Christian Messianic story we see that a man who comes and is declared to be God is crucified. What is the meaning of it? Here is God coming on earth and it could be the god of any great religion but he incarnates himself on the earth and he declares himself, as Christ declared himself, I am – one with that omnipotent father. And at the raising of Lazarus where he raises the dead, he gives a performance that shows he has command over life and death. Then no sooner has he demonstrated this capacity in the time process, to avoid the complete subordination of every other finite being to the image of this man, that would have paralysed them completely if it had remained, then he crucified it. Because the great law is, thou shalt not have a visible god which is omnipotent.
Supposing for a moment Christ had said when they put him on the cross, to the challenge, come down off the cross if you are the Son of God, supposing he’d come down, supposing he’d just floated down leaving the nails up there – d’you think the Rabbis or anybody else would have dared to touch him? D’you think anybody would have dared to move without consulting him first? They wouldn’t and therefore there would have been a finite being in the time process with a continuous pilgrimage to this point.
Now it is not, from the centre of our feeling, what we really think is a good thing. We do need the demonstration of the possibility of incarnating omnipotence, of absolute adaptability, absolute response ability, but we don’t need him around too long, because we too want to move in the same direction. The rule we want to see is that if ever God dares to incarnate, he had better get crucified, because if he doesn’t he is going to paralyse the free individual will of every other being. And therefore there is here an indicator for any finite being, who in the pursuit of his own development of power should aim at a position of power so great that he can dictate to the rest of the human race.
The petty figure of a Mussolini or a Hitler or a Stalin is nothing compared with the possibilities that could be expressed. But if any individual finite being did in fact impose on the rest of the human race, so that they could not move without consulting him, then the whole purpose of the evolution of plurality would have been defeated. So that when we are moving towards the development of our powers, we should always remember this, that whatever field we’re in, where we become optimal in our response, whether playing of piccolo or the … whatever they do play, wherever this is, at the top level of this performance, this man is a Messiah for this activity. And it is his duty to get himself crucified in that department, less he in fact paralyses all the other fiddlers.
‘Does the original egg resist the split that’s made?’
If we remember that the energy expended in this split is equalled by the field response, the reaction of the field, there must be a resistance equivalent to the amount of energy expended in the split, and if we were to say, when we stress the field to create a finite point, we have strained all the surrounding field. So that if we first of all stress the field to make a finite zone, that’s a single cell, we have strained all the field round it. And this strain is demanding the destruction of this being. And therefore we part the egg. The egg for a moment returns at the moment of splitting to its sense of transcendence, it has escaped the limiting factor of individuation. But as soon as it has escaped it, like the pendulum flies past the medial point, it flies too far away and it now compresses the field on the sides and it strains the centre, which then responds by dragging back together again the severed halves. And so there is an oscillation between the joining and severing of these halves.
‘Do the halves like it?’
We have to be careful about terms. ‘Like’ means similarity. Psychologically the state of liking is present wherever one being is like another being. And wherever a being has inside itself an energy form like that of an external stimulus then it likes it.
‘Well, the original egg, having no identity and having nothing in fact, is being sort of done unto by the field.’
The original egg has identity because it is circumscribed and it is itself the field condensed and is therefore self doing. You get this in the Bhagavad-Gita where it says that the killer and the killing and the kill are all the same, and this is a bit of a Samson, the eater and the meat, the strength and the sweetness. It is all the Absolute which is playing about with itself, it is the Lila of the gods, the sport, where this field is playing about and producing these finited zones and then dissolving them when they go beyond the term of its purpose.
‘And this is the picture as seen from the finite end, isn’t it, as a game?’
This is the picture as seen from both ends simultaneously, because this question of the game, of the sport, and the play of power happens to be an absolute fact, and therefore from the point of view of the Absolute, it is still a game. From the point of view of a finite human being within the game, the game can be rough, as in the …….., or it can be easy as if you are watching from the side. But it is still a game.
‘To finites an Absolute game doesn’t make sense.’
To the finite it makes sense when the finite can discover within itself that its essential being is no more than a modality of this Absolute game. This again is a question of the degree of awareness inside an individual. You know very well that if you like to wiggle your first finger and call that a game, you can feel a certain sensation of pleasure in the very finger if you move it in a certain way. And simultaneously you could find a nerve ending somewhere in your body that you could tickle and the cells in that place would like it, and you would like it, simultaneously.
Now if you are identified with your consciousness, this is equivalent to the Absolute relative to you. Your consciousness, relative to a cell that you are tickling, is like the Absolute consciousness relative to you and therefore you can do it from both ends. From the Absolute end you are scratching that cell because you like the sensation and that cell is enjoying the being scratched from its own finite viewpoint. Now if you scratch in such a way that the cell doesn’t like it, you don’t like it, and if you persist in doing it you destroy the cell. And when you have destroyed the cell you have felt the pain of the destruction yourself. But this doesn’t mean that you necessarily stop, because you might actually be enjoying the information that arises in consciousness from the destructive activity.
This is very closely related to the problem of sadism and masochism. That the enjoyment is not necessarily confined to a certain kind of pleasure stimulation, because enjoyment can arise from the actual perception of the formal meaning of a situation, independently of the sensation of pleasure or pain.
‘So you could say, and I’m sure it must be right, that the genius was in fact the last of a line of people moving towards that end.’
‘Historically this doesn’t always seem to be the case, does it?……………… there are quite a number of geniuses who appear to be a sort of product out of the blue, that there appears to be no connection in their family history - music, or leadership, or art, or whatever their field of genius was.’
Well first of all here we have to distinguish very carefully between careless looking at history and deep looking at it. We take a boy like Mozart. We know in fact that although he was a genius and his father was not a genius, his father expended a terrific amount of energy on him and this meant that there was in the father an admission, a formative power in the father to become what he wanted the son to become. And he treated this son as if it were his own protoplasm, which it was. So that the father was fulfilling himself with the son. And we find, say in Renaissance Italy, that you cannot abstract a man like Michelangelo and say, here is a man self generated, out of nothing, because in actual fact the whole environment was conspiring together and everybody was undergoing this experience of striving for perfections of form.
Now we’ve said that absolutely all is sentient power, we’ve said that the sentient power of the Absolute can precipitate a messiah or a genius immediately, but if it does so it has produced an act which is merely exactly the same thing that appears in the temporal process serially, only now instead of serialising, like the billiard ball, one after the other - European causation - it has simply put all these stages together in one place going from the Absolute into the temporal relative, by compression. But every stage is still there, even when the genius apparently in line, superficially examined, has come out of nothing. But if in fact we examine this genius and the family from which he derives, we find always a very deep searching has gone on, even if without success. And that this person simply crystallises the yearning of that line.
‘Isn’t ‘without success’ here then relevant, sort of important really, like knowing his ancestors who struggled without success? Therefore ‘without success’ is part of the final progeny success, isn’t it really?’
Yes. Well our word yearning doesn’t quite express clearly the idea that we want. The German ‘sehensucht’ does. ‘Sehensucht’ is a word that’s translated ‘yearning’ but is made out of ‘to see’ and ‘to seek’. To see, to seek. You see in your mind a possibility, you seek it with your energy. For generations you see this possibility and you seek it, and you don’t get it, but you keep seeking. Now all this seeking and all this striving inside which may never show any evidence whatever of genius, if it is persisted in from generation to generation, all this seeing and seeking of this possibility results at a certain point in the precipitation of precisely that capacity.
You might remember the novel of Beresford’s, called the Hampdenshire Wonder, about a little infant prodigy who is born to a man who in fact was striving to make a cricketer. This man was aiming to bowl properly and he was thinking cricket, cricket, cricket all the time. And he was aiming accurately. And he wasn’t defining too well what he was doing because he thought he was defining within the field of cricket but in fact the whole of his concentration wasn’t on cricket, it was on hitting the wicket.
So that when the child was born to him, this child had a mind that went from where it was to a point. And so whatever it looked at, it hit it. And so we see this interesting little picture of this infant prodigy sitting on the volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, except one which he’s reading. And when he’s read through that one, which he’s committed it to memory, then he puts that volume underneath and takes the next one out, and he works through them all until they’ve all been read. And then this little monster of a child with a stacked brain begins to speak, and straightaway everybody becomes terrified.
And in this particular story, which is worth reading, because Beresford was seriously interested in this problem, a minister of the Gospel is so terrified that the genius of this child will overthrow his theological position, that he gets the little boy to go for a walk with him, and he finds a nice little pond in a field, and he pushes the boy in the pond, and he holds him under with his walking stick, to protect God. Read the Hampdenshire Wonder of Beresford, and see how Beresford has seriously considered this problem. That if you concentrate you will get there, and if you get there, look out, because somebody will consider that you are doing God no service by daring to be manifest.
‘Another sort of genius very often doesn’t seem to have any family, I don’t quite know why, and when he does they’re very seldom a genius in their own terms. Why is this? One would have thought a genius would have given birth perhaps to the super genius.’
You mean the bite should be worse than the bark?
‘Something like that.’
Well the reason is very, very simple. When we are pursuing an end we use energy. If we’re using energy to pursue end ‘A’ we are not using it for end ‘B’. So that if we get a genius, we get the evidence that along a long series of generations a certain action has been targeted for. And when that genius arises, he is the embodiment, the fulfilment of that aim, and that all the energy of that line has now incarnated in him. There isn’t any left for doing anything else, so that when he has a child, the child is no good.
So that you can’t have a continuous series of geniuses. You can have a continuous series of mediocrity, of improving, like say that Tagore family, painters and poets and so on, artists, and these people are very clever but they’re not all geniuses. You cannot go on producing a genius out of a genius, because you cannot in fact overcome the inertia of the direction. A genius is the ultimate end of a long series of strivings for many generations and when he arrives that is the end of that particular effort. And a new effort has to be made. And you cannot take the full energy of that genius in another being, and in one generation point it in another direction. Again it will take time and the development of experience and the building up of new patterns before a new genius in another field can arise.
[audio tape transcription by Caroline Wakefield Freestone 2006]