GOODNESS, TRUTH AND BEAUTY
The text of a talk given at Parklands by Eugene Halliday, Ishval audio 32.
We are going to talk about the true, the good and the beautiful in relation to the three parts of the man. There is quite a lot of literature about, the true, the good and the beautiful in the last two and a half thousand years but there is very little adequate definition of the relation between them.
If we relate them to the three parts of the human being, the head, chest and the tummy then we can place the true in the head, the beautiful in the chest, do I need to write it all, no, and the good in the tum. Now we will see why we place them in this position. When you talk about true, you are making an assessment about non-deviation. If you say that is a true triangle we mean that it is not bent in such a way that you can’t recognise it to be a triangle. If you say that line is truly straight, you mean it does not wobble, it doesn’t divert from its direction. Now the etymology of true is interesting because you can see that TR implies a turning process and the essence of truth is the circle drawn from a centre with a pair of compasses. A true circle is a circle in which your compasses are not ordinary education authorities school issue, which wobble about and are very loose in the joint so that when you start to strike the circle, the radius extends and you might get a circle that looks a bit like this. Supposing I get my compass and start to turn and the legs of the compass begin to widen and it goes like that, and I see that it is wrong so I bring them in again and go like that and then join up. Now school issue compasses for kids actually do that kind of thing. Do you remember them? Funny little brass things, they occasionally come on the second hand market, five pence a gross. They are very good for filing down to make tools with.
To make a real circle, a true circle, a perfect circle, you must have an absolutely rigid pair of compasses, and to get a rigid anything costs money. Rather funny that isn’t it? Rigidity is an essential of truth. We will see why there are certain kinds of philosophers who dislike truth intensely in this sense because if the true is the undeviating, the rigid, then it appears that the living process which full of deviations, flexibilities, adjustments and compromises cannot be true in this sense.
If we go back a little, to consider our trine, the true, the true, imagine this circle is perfect. I haven’t got my rigid compass with me so I did an approximation to it free hand and the ink in this thing is bearing, under the exposure to the air it tends to dry, it is a bit thick, a bit wobbly and so on. Luckily I have an eyeball more or less approximating in a section through it to a circle, so I can draw a circle by thinking of my eyeball and going round it. And for all general usages it is not bad to do that way. Remember you have an eyeball and roll it and follow the rolling with your pen you will get an approximate circle. Now, if we say this circle might have been called rota long ago, a wheel, we can see how this TR got into the word ‘true.’ TRU, TRU, the O and the U are the same letter originally so that when we talk about the true we are talking about the rotating and we are saying that the character of this rotation is that it maintains the same length of radius, and the more accurately it maintains that same length of radius, the more true will be the circle.
Now we are not to think, that when we are talking about a circle in this way that is it of interest only to geometricians, because the concept of the true has really bugged philosophers for a very, very long time. We go back three thousand years and we find human thinkers asking what is true, and then they ask what is real, and then they ask is the true the real, is the real, really true. And there is very little definition in profane philosophy about what this truth is. Now, supposing we say that when you rotate your compass you enclose an area and we will say it has been in-closed, in-cluded, and the part outside it has been ex-cluded, the cluded part meaning closed, then a circle simultaneously includes and excludes space. It
includes a finite amount of space and it excludes an infinite amount of space, which is rather funny because most people think that when you divide something you divide it into halves but in this case the halves are very, very unequal. The internal half, the included is finite and the external half is infinite. Now this is very, very important for philosophy and for life to recognise this because when we come to examine what we call a form, form is a Latin word, forma, form means exactly the same thing as rota and circle, sphere and so on, and it implies a binding line, a ligature or an encapsulated zone, an included, in-closed and an excluded, out-closed. The Anglo Saxon for form is shape, and the Greek for that same thing would be eidos, whence we get our word ‘idea.’ So all those are synonyms. An idea, eidos, shape form, rota, the circle, the sphere, the true, are all synonyms. And we see how important this is when we come to think because when we think, we encapsulate forms, shapes of experiences, in idea.
If I look at the lights in the room, close my eyes and reproduce them I have an idea of a light in the room and the idea in my mind if it is derived from looking in focus at a lamp, is lighte the lamp that I saw outside. So the external world, the excluded, the lamp, and my internal world, inside my skin surface have a correspondence. There is a light outside me, that is, outside this body, and there is another light, a mental light, inside me, because when I look at the lamp over there and close my eyes, I can still see the same shape. I can actually see it to the same intensity. When it is that intense on the inside as it is on the outside we call it an eidetic. An eidetic form, a form that is sharply clear as if we were looking at the actual external situation.
Now, you might think that is not so terribly important for human sanity but it is, because if all your ideas on the inside of your skin are true ideas in correspondence with the external forms that you see, then you are sane and you have a remarkable power of adjustment to the external world if your internal world is actually is furnished with shapes, colours, forms and so on, as it is outside. The inner and outer being correspondent, the being is then true. When the inner, says one of the apocryphal gospels, shall be as the outer, when the above shall be as the below, when the microcosm shall be as the macrocosm, then heaven is attained. That is to say, heaven equals the balance of power, but if I have inside my skin surface an idea a shape, a form, an image, correspondent with one on the outside then, if I understand this image, I can adjust to the external world in terms of the image. So if I can adjust this thing in my hand is a kind of writing instrument and that if it hasn’t dried up, it will make a mark, and if I wish to make a mark, I can make a mark. If I understand what it means to be drawing a line at right angles, I can draw a line at right angles. If I understand what it means to bisect an angle then I can bisect an angle thus. In other words, if I have an idea inside my skin, for every element in the external world and I understand the nature of this idea, I understand the nature of the external form correspondent with it, then I can do manipulations inside my skin with the ideas. And these manipulations, if they are truly correspondent with the external forms of the world, will allow me to do correspondent actions in the world. They will only allow me to do this providing my ideas are true. If I say I will now draw a triangle, there is a triangle, in drawing that triangle I recognise its three-sidedness, and if I agree to use the term three-sided form equals triangle, then, if I wish to draw a triangle I can draw it. And if I wish to draw another kind of triangle called right-angled, and I draw a right angle and then complete the other side, I draw another kind of triangle, right angled triangle and in the process I can adjust to things in the world that are like it. So If I wanted to go out to a shop and buy a right angle triangle and I hadn’t time to buy one, I would say to David, who has more time than I have, he has a lot more time than I have, then I would say, “Would you mind going out and getting me a right angled triangle,” and he would know what I meant wouldn’t you David? He knows what I mean. On the other hand, if I said go out and get me an isosceles triangle he would go out and get one of those.
Providing we have the same forms in our minds and the same terms in out minds we can do another interesting thing, we can cooperate in the external world using manipulations of the inner world. We can do things inside our minds and we can make relationships in the mind and discuss them in the mind, and agree to divide the labours and then we can go in two opposite directions and meet at the mystical hour of eleven o’clock and there do some tremendously important deeds because we have truly seen it in our minds and our mental elements are correspondent with those in the material, physical, external world. So the true is tremendously important.
Now, if there were merely truth there would be total rigidity in the world. Now you probably all are now sufficiently familiar with this idea of the hexon. A circle which we make and we take the compass and we shift it from the centre to the periphery and we draw another circle like that. And then we shift the compass foot to there and we draw another one like this, and we draw another one like this, and we draw another one like this, and we draw another. You see I am performing the same operation, so once I have understood the operation that I simply move the compass round to the next intersection point I can draw such a pattern. But also, if I understand it thoroughly, I can see to draw another circle like this, and another one like this and I can go wandering round the whole process and I can cover this piece of sheeting, Perspex, with this pattern. Now the interesting thing about this pattern is that when truly drawn with an accurately-made pair of compasses, rigid, it will cover the paper with identical forms and they will be rigidly true, they will be unalterably circles and they will have the same radius and I could, given infinite time, spread out and keep drawing these circles everywhere. And if I had covered infinite space with those circles then I would have covered infinite space with truth. There is form, there is shape, unalterable, rigid, so that I could then make a rule; if there is a circle anywhere in space, then that circle has been crossed by six other circles and there will be, apparently an inner form of a six-petalled flower in any one of them. So I could make a rule, that all circles whatever that exist in this infinite diagram, obey the same law. I could then say, that is the law. The Hebrew for law, here we are, the same word, torâh, means the circle, the rotation. Man has given rise to the idea of law from the idea of the circle.
Now there is a geometrical circle there drawn by the compasses and there is another circle that man has observed, the circle swept out by the Earth in a year, going round the Sun. True it turns out that it is slightly ellipsoid but that is because it gets pushed through space and distorted. But, in principle it is a circle, and the Earth itself rotates on an axis and describes a circle with any point upon the Earth. Just the tip of Mount Everest, in sweeping round with the Earth is drawing a circle through space. So we see here a geometrical diagram on the paper can be used to represent the orbit of a planet or the spin of a planet on its own axis. And, we can take the same diagram and say it represents the spin of an electron round a proton in an atom, or the spin of electron on its own axis, but everywhere we go we will find that this rota, this wheel, this turning around a centre is everywhere the same. So the one universal law is rotation. Nietzsche built this up into the idea of Eternal Recurrence. The ancients had already built it up for him some three thousand years earlier, which he well knew.
What is being said there, in the Eternal Recurrence is, that if you draw a circle, it doesn’t matter what you draw it with, if it is sixty-five thousand miles across or six inches across, the ratio of the radius to the circumference will be the same. So, one law rules all form. Now we can call this domination by this law of form, of rota, the classical mode of philosophy and we can see then that a philosopher like Plato is very, very interested in truth.
Now, if we remember the field drawn upon with the circle and remember that each circle apparently, has six petals in it, the Greek for six is hex so we call it the hexonic field, and we imagine this hexonic field to be infinitely extended. And we imagine that this field of hexons is absolutely permeated with circles, all interlocking in an identical way. There is one law for all the circles and this law is called The Law, it is called torah, it is called rot, it is called truth. So that, when Plato is talking about that truth, or Leibnitz, or Aristotle or Descartes or anybody else, when they are talking about truth they are really talking about nothing except a circle which includes finitude, excludes the Infinite. And if it is to be taken seriously that the true is rigid and absolute, then if any philosopher tries to conform to the truth, in his action he will become relatively rigid. There was a school of philosophers who actually did this. They were called the stoics. And, having decided that the universe is ruled by truth, logos, then, they made themselves obey it. So that if a lot of people died and they knew that death was part of being born, they just said well that is what happens, if you get born and you die and you remain in perfect mental balance because you understand the whole process. Now a very ignorant, emotionally identified person on losing a near and dear one as they call them, euphemistically, becomes agitated at the thought of who is going to inherit the money or something like that, and they forget that they too will die, and they forget this great law of the cycle, “To the born, certain is death,” as Buddha said. The Stoic mentality trained itself so that it could actually understand the inevitability of the recurrence of the truth, the inevitability that all things are cyclic; and therefore, whatever you have got, you are going to lose and whatever you lose you will eventually get back again at some remote point in the cycle of events. So this peculiar kind of view of reality that reality is fundamentally true meant to those philosophers, it is our duty to ourselves to make ourselves true, that is correspondent with that great cycle of events. Now, this we can call the classical, philosophical view, the elevation of the true to the highest position.
Now, when we draw that hexonic field, when we cover infinite space not only as a plane, but pile them above and below this original one until we have a three dimensional continuum of circles interlocked in this way and we call it Infinite Truth, when we have got that firmly fixed in our minds, then nothing can happen except that when we look into this mesh of interlocking circles, wecan see patterns, and all the patterns that exist in this space are called the real, the whole reality. Plato calls them the real and they are eternal. Now, in Hindu Philosophy, the same circles are declared to be made by sound. Now you know that sound is an alternation of compression decompression, it is little thumps. A little thump, a relax, you thump, you relax, you thump, you relax. Sound waves are compression waves and the dot in the centre of the circle is viewed as the point on which the thump is made and the periphery is the relaxation limit. So, thump onto the centre, expand to the periphery, thump onto the centre, and when this type of vibratory process goes on then it is called the cosmic creative sound and it is conceived to be eternal. It is eternal because all these vibrations go on simultaneously, and we contrast eternity with time in a very simple way.
If I draw a line like that, inertia says I drew it in what you call time, that is, I started at one end and then went along. And if you had a watch on you, you could have counted, one two, three, four, five, six; or some other number according to the speed of your counting, and you could have said that was the zero point where we start and there is the first second gone, second, third, fourth, fifth, like that.
But, we can also look at that line, now it is drawn without scanning it, that is to say that without running from one end to the other we can seize it, grasp it, intuit it, apprehend it, those are all synonyms, with one look of the eye I see there is a line there. But if I am not counting it out, time particle after time particle, if I am seeing it simultaneously, then I am not seeing it temporally, I am seeing it eternally.
Now, in this theory of the universe, of reality that Plato popularised out of the mysteries of the temples of Greece; that Pythagoras popularised out of the mysteries of the temples of the Egyptians, in that theory, this vibratory field of hexonic forms is eternal and simultaneous in its vibrational behaviour. It is not serial. And because it is not serial, that is, coming one after the other, serial is from teeth, like that on a saw. There is one saw, there’s a saw, a funny saw with three teeth. If I want to count the teeth, I look at these tips, one, two, three teeth. Here is the blade of the saw; the blade of the saw is one blade. By the shape of it I say it is serrated, that is toothed. When I say I can count serially, that means to say I can focus my eye on the tips here that have been made by filing or doing something similar, and focusing on the tips, I can call each one a tooth tip and then I can serialise, that is tooth, the way I look at the saw, but the blade itself is whole It is one piece of metal, it has oneness. It has unity and I am counting these teeth because I am insisting on focusing on the tips, on the sharp bits there. But if I look at the back of the saw, here, I would not have any teeth to count and therefore I would not be serialising and I would see the plain truth about the saw is that the saw blade is made of one piece of metal and I would distinguish between the two ways of looking, the saw as one and the saw as many tooths. And, if I look at the teeth and start counting them it can take me a long time but if I look at the whole blade and I examine two or three teeth and see these teeth have the same depth and the same distance between them and I take a quick look along the saw and then I measure the first inch of the saw and count the teeth in that one inch, and then I measured the length of the blade and multiply that length by the number of teeth by the number of teeth there were in an inch, then I know, without counting them all, how many teeth the saw has. And this way I save time. I spend less time to see the reality of the saw and how it is made.
Now, all this probably is very unfeminine and probably not terribly of interest to the feminine part of the human being. It is the truth, it is the rigid, it is the cold, it is the undeviating, mysteriously it is absolutely unalterable. The universe is made in such a way that its fundamentals cannot be altered. Nobody can do anything about it. The Son of God in the great religions can do nothing about it. When power, that is, God the Father, moves, necessarily that power moves in such a way that it builds up wave forms within it and the totality of these wave forms adds up to the formal universe, the truth. And, if power operates at all, it cannot help operating in a manner conformable to the law of moving power. So there is absolutely no escape.
Now, one philosopher, Parmenides, thinking about this truth, said the Universe is a great sphere which is true in its form, utterly unalterable, there is nothing we can do about it. Now, some philosophers in that school would say good so we can leave everything as it is as it is already true, perfect and unalterable. So those at the top level of Greek aristocratic society were quite happy to believe Pythagoras knew a bit, quite happy to think Parmenides knew a lot, that Plato was not too ignorant of this principle that nothing can be changed, that there is an eternal structure, an eternal true form and that nothing can be done to alter it, and therefore human society cannot be altered.
Now, this idea of the eternally true imposed itself on the human mind and particularly the aristocratic mind most pressingly, so that they became practically incapable of thinking in any way other than truly. True thought was the very essence of their philosophy and conformity to the truth was their ideal and their purpose, their goal, towards which they strove, in the case of the great Stoics, to a large degree, attained that balance of soul that that study of truth gives you.
But, if we say, that the idea here is the true, form, the idea in the mind is form, is truth, then, at the opposite end of the same body here we have will. Now will is rather funny because it is power initiating change. Now this raises a very great problem because according to the doctrine of the truth, the eternal true, there is no change. The Absolute truthful is unalterable. Pi ratio rules everywhere. All circles have the same relationship between their radii and their circumference. All, in all worlds, at all times in all places, all circles are under the law of pi ratio. And yet, mysteriously, there is something going on that is not accounted for and that something is change, and the initiator of the change we call will. At one end of your body, in the head, you have an idea; at the other end you have a very mysterious power that seems to operate independently of ideas and the truth. It acts as we say conatively, by drive, by impulse to act and behind this impulse there is initiative, there is that which introduces change and this is called the Good. The ‘goo’ in good is simply a very primitive form of will. You know that in French that will would be spelled in early French like that as in gill, William. The hard G has vanished off the English word ‘will’ but it used to be there because to say ‘will’ meant ‘to go.’ You went with, sounds a bit Welsh that.
Now, the good meant to will a certain distance, you willed until you stopped and you were goo-ing along until you decided you had gone far enough and at that point you stopped and went the letter D, and that was the ‘Goo-d.’ Now these two are exactly opposite concepts. There is one unalterable law and yet, mysteriously, something appears to be breaking the law. Now what can it be, because if the law says that infinite space, three-dimensional, is full of circles, all under the same law, pi ratio, and these circles cannot move because they are infinitely extended and the infinitely extended cannot go anywhere because it is already there, and the infinitely extended form cannot move, it is absolute and it is rigid. And yet it appears that I can move my hand through space, and this raises a tremendous problem. There is the clash to view, the idea is true, the idea is dominant, only the idea is worth bothering. The idea turns you from an animal into a human, from a have-not into a have, from a proletarian into a high-ranking international millionaire type statesman. The idea does it. And at the other end of the scale there is this tremendous weird power that disobeyed the law of the idea and this is called the will, the goo. And it willed a certain distance, and having reached there, put on the D and it was called ‘The Good.’ Good is willing to a certain distance, and then stopping.
Now, if we say the idea is classical we say the will is romantic. We say it is romantic with reference to the Roman Empire because the Roman Empire was built by men who were quite irrationable, looking out from a centre which they had built under the influence of a man who had just murdered his brother, namely Romulus who killed Remus and he was determined to make an empire and push out from that centre and keep pushing until he couldn’t go any further. Then he would draw a big circle and say, “That is the extent of the Roman Empire.” And therefore we say ‘romantic’ like the Romans. They just kept pushing out, pushing out, pushing out until they were stopped. And, wherever the people that they pushed against were not too strong or not too well organised they were able to overcome them. When they came up against very rough types then they stopped and wrote their letter D. They said this is “good” we have got so far. So the extent of the Roman Empire at a certain period was quite great simply because they had irrationally gone out from the centre. Rome was built with its first inhabitants the rag, tag and bobtail of Italy invited in to a non-city to build a city. They were invited in to get in on the ground floor, before the city was built and promised citizenship if they got in quickly. Having got in they were then organised and gradually they got recruits until they were able to start pushing out and build this mysterious empire of will.
Now if we examine this relation of the idea and the will, or the true and the good, we find that they are quite antithetic because the idea is eternally what it is, unalterably what it is and it is, necessarily, static. Triangles have been triangles for ever in all worlds; circles remain circles, squares remain squares, in all worlds and for ever. But the will does not stay where it is by its very, very being, it transcends its position. It is always pushing out from itself. So if we say at one end of the body you have a tendency to be a classical philosopher and to believe in an ultimate true proposition, a truth that can be attained by the intellect; at the other end of your body you have a peculiarly urgeful nature which does not believe that the true is very important at all and it pushes out and continuously transcends the position it had gone before. And some modern philosophers have made a little mistake out of this, as some of the early ones did. They talked about the self transcending itself.
Now if we draw a circle and say that represents the limit of a being which we will call a self because it is living in a kind of cell and we talk about pushing against the wall of the inside using power to extend that circle, is we then say that the self has transcended itself we are making a mistake. And it is funny how many philosophers do that. They talk about the self transcending itself. It doesn’t, itself can never transcend itself. What it does do is transcend any definition of itself. In fact we can say that absolute transcendence is the only non-idolatrous religion. Absolute transcendence of any form of any definition is non-idolatrous. If we say an idol is a static zone that can’t do anything precisely because the energy involved in it is used up in being, not in doing anything transcendent. Transcend means go across, go beyond what you were. When you were a little boy or a girl you were so big and then you grew and became so big, and then you grew and became so big. Each year you grew, rather like a tree grows, but you never transcended yourself. What you did was transcended your previous level of previous development. So, if ever you read, in any literature about self-transcendence, don’t believe it. You transcend the definition of the form with which you identified. You cannot transcend yourself; you can transcend the definition of yourself that you had made at an earlier stage by making a new definition. So remember the straight battle, the idea is quite rigid; the will is utterly unrigid, that is to say it can initiate changes in anything whatever it comes across, it can always go beyond the definition.
Let us think about that very carefully, that something in you, an impulsive nature in your lower tum does things which the reason in your head tells you are very. Very silly things to do. That thing in the lower tum will expose you to risk. It puts its foot on the accelerator and makes you jump the lights, it makes you do all kinds of strange things like go down a one way street the wrong way. If it feels like it, it does it. And against all the laws and all the sign posts it will do such things. And this really does exist; an impulsive power inside you is every bit as real as your definition of a triangle. Now, because these two are both present in us, an idea of the truth, like the circle and pi ratio, and the fact of the impulsive nature that breaks the idea that transcends it, that jumps beyond it, these two being co-present in the human being, there arises a situation where the human being has to choose, at any given moment, whether he will obey an idea or allow an impulse to operate immediately.
Now, if we think about immediacy, we mean a kind of action of the will which is not mediated by thought, something you do without consideration Energy leaps up from the tum and goes into action it has not previously examined the form of its action or the consequences. It does things without counting the cost, and as a matter of fact, in the romantic literature, the person who does things without counting the cost is worshipped as the great hero, he dos the most extraordinary things precisely because of his non-subjection to the truth, to the idea, to the rigid form. But because these two are co-presented, there arises in the middle a necessity for choosing whether to be impulsive or whether to be rational at any given moment. And this realm of choice is called the beautiful.
There is beauty and beauty is the realm in which we choose whether to be impulsive or truthful, whether to be rigid in our application of the geometrical formula or allow power to operate regardless of the consequences. And in between this terribly strong driving power and this totally rigid true idea, is the zone in which feeling operates. Now by feeling we do not mean emotion. London Emotion is an overspill of energy when the will is pushed into an idea and the idea cannot contain it so that it flows out of the idea from the excessive input of the energy of the will into the idea. That is emotion. But feeling, in this balancing centre, is not like that at all. Feeling is the capacity that we have to evaluate the impulse without letting the impulse overflow, to look at an idea which is rigid without becoming rigid. So feeling is a very mysterious thing It is a most mysterious capacity of the human being that he can actually contemplate rigid truth like pi ratio, logic, mathematics, geometry and can be equipped with a tremendous driving impulsive power and yet he is able to balance these and to hold the power that would rush into activity, and to hold the idea that is absolutely rigid and to look at both, simultaneously, and then decide from within itself, by looking at the rigid form of truth and looking at the amount of impulsiveness, can then decide how much power to operate with what true form. And this is called beauty. So that all that you call beauty, in art, in life, springs out of this peculiar centre of decision, this centre of choice, and the activity of a being is called beautiful when he can actually balance his will and his idea.
Supposing you decide you will go to London, suddenly, and you jump up and rush out and jump into your car, slam it into gear and find that you are not the first car at the gate but you are in the middle. That would be an impulsive act. And you would probably have to come back, unless your car were very powerful, it would not be able to plough its way through all the other cars in front of it, and you would probably have to have second thoughts and come back and say, “Would the people whose cars are number so and so, in front of me, remove their cars because I am having an impulse.” This is called self-contradiction ad is called unbeautiful and everybody says, mentally to their self, “That is a very unbeautiful person.”
Now you are beautiful in so far as you are able to hold that tremendous power in you and the idea in you so the rigidity of the idea does not paralyse you and the impulsiveness of that lower tom energy does not drive you until you decide. Now how is it that can arise? It is very interesting because, in the centre of this chest here we have a heart most people have it slightly to the left which shows how busily cunning they have become, few people have it on the right, which shows foolishly non-conformist they are, very few have it central, but the idea of having it slightly biased to the left for civilised human beings is to give a little more importance to the idea than to the impulse. And the reason for that evolutionarily, is because to align the impulse to operate without the idea, many people have been killed rather early in life and it has given the rise to the idea that to think a little before you leap is not so bad for survival purposes. Hence the slight lean of the heart to the left. Left means thinking.
Now, in this act of beauty, the fact that it is possible to do it, the fact there is a thing called good taste in art, the fact that some dancer in the ballet can actually do exactly the right gesture to convey something in relation to certain music. He makes the gesture congruent with the music, and in that congruence he is said to have good taste. He does not do it too much or too little he does it just right. He has good taste. So the funny thing about beauty is beauty is to do with taste. You might think that was very funny until you lost your sense of smell, through a bad cold, and discovered that your sense of smell is largely a sense of background for taste. When you taste a thing, you are really smelling it. When you put it in your mouth and you loosen the particles of food then the little particles that are loosed, rise up and they are smelled, going up at the back of the mouth, you smell them and most of what you call taste is smell. And, because of this, if you put a couple of nose holes up there and draw them down to make lungs, you can see how the sense of smell is connected with the chest, and that your good taste is mostly, smell.
Now, think about this very carefully, only if you are able to balance the impulse and the rigid idea, before you act, can you do a beautiful act. But if you can do this, it shows a relation somewhere between these two poles and how can we arrive at this relation if the idea were absolutely separate, like certain philosophers have thought, if the idea is paramount, if the idea is the ultimate truth, if there is nothing other than ultimately the truth, then there is no will, will is an illusion, an erroneous attitude towards existence. But, on the other hand if the wilful beings say I don’t believe in ideas, they are rubbish, rather like the Norman barons did, if they say the idea is just an invention of wicked priests to try to curb my will, they also are in a peculiar position because they are isolated in the will from the idea. So that, when they operate impulsively, they cannot operate in a direction because the essence of a direction is an idea, that is, a form. If you go North or South or East or West you have a compass, you have a form, you bisect angles. So, whether the person is stressed on the idea or on the will, if he insists that that only is ultimate and not the other, he is automatically wrong. So neither the idea nor the will can be ultimate and therefore we have to find another ultimate.
When the feeling operates between the will and the idea it demonstrates a peculiar thing that originally there was a field of energy and this field of energy is the origin of our feeling. Field and feeling are related. What you feel when you feel yourself to be is the energy occupying the zone of your being. And the centre of this feeling is the heart. And this feeling has polarised itself and devoted one end of itself to action, pushing, the other end of itself to thinking. So, instead of having a duality of two utterly alien forces, one called will and one called idea, and never the twain shall meet, you have that the idea and the will are polarisations of feeling. Now this lifts feeling up to a very high level but we are not talking about emotion as overspill. Now the classical philosophers have been suspicious of feeling because they were confused between feeling and emotion. And the wilful philosophers have been suspicious of feeling because they say it gives rise to compassion and if you have compassion you might not be able to jump impulsively on somebody’s head and smash the skull in. So if you wanted to be a great empire builder, from the will, like a Roman in the ancient world, you couldn’t afford to feel because if you were putting thousands and thousands of people to death because you wish to take over their territory to extend your empire you couldn’t afford to feel, you couldn’t afford to have compassion, that means suffering with them in their feeling. So you deny it.
So we have two kinds of philosophies, a philosophy of idea that recommends it that we believe truth is ultimate and a philosophy of will that says will is ultimate. Nietzsche is an example of the will philosophy and Hegel of the idea philosophy and both of those philosophers condemn feeling and say that anybody who feels cannot be a philosopher by definition, either because a feeler is not wilful or a feeler is not a geometrician. They suspect the feeling because of a simple fact about it; feeling has no edges of itself. That is to say, feeling is infinitely extended. Feeling is the infinite field of power of the universe and prior to polarisation, that is the division into wilful end and formal end, there is nothing other than this field of power, and what it is feeling is nothing but the internal undulation of its own being. When it bends a little it becomes aware of the bend. It bends a bit this way and then it bends a bit this way, and it bends a bit this way, it undulates in itself, this feeling arises in its undulation is the ground of its self-awareness, so that all self-awareness of all beings, wherever they may be, no matter how low or high in the philosophical scale, is based on feeling. So, the Latin word from which we derive the word sentience means to feel, primarily and secondarily, to know. That when we feel, if I feel the pressure of this thing on the Perspex I tell how much friction there is in it, I am feeling it, I can feel the drag on it according to the pressure I put upon it And feeling is very peculiar because it allows me to think and to will. Now willing does not allow me to think, thinking doesn’t allow me to will but feeling allows me to will and to think. So feeling is a very mysterious power. It is a power that knows itself and can do two opposites. It can make itself absolutely rigid in triangles and squares, circles and so on or, it can move about without mentioning them. It can move about in a wriggly way like this, without making an enclosure or it can move around making circles, it can enclose squares and triangles. Feeling can do all these things and therefore feeling is really the source of willing and thinking. So the philosophers of thinking and the philosophers of willing are both at fault because they think that their particular view is prior to the opposite view, and both say that feeling itself is too indeterminate, too ill-defined to be worth bothering with. And there are many philosophers who have discounted any person who trying to think, started to allow that there was a thing like feeling. We have had philosophers who were doing very well in their rational process and then they suddenly started to think about feeling and allowed that feeling had a function, and the moment that had happened then the philosophers of the idea, the classical philosophers said, “Oh he has stopped being a philosopher now. He has started going funny and artistical and mystical.” And the volitionists had said, “He has stopped being a philosopher now because he is balancing himself instead of doing things.”
Now, can there be a philosophy of feeling, a feeling philosophy? The answer is Yes, but we haven’t seen it fully developed in history precisely it doesn’t bounce people about and therefore it doesn’t build empires and it isn’t rigidly defining situations therefore it doesn’t build philosophies, and there are few greats in the history of the human race, the great thinkers and the great world builders. The great world builders who make the empires, the great thinkers who give a rationale of making that empire, and these few greats have put out of court feeling which is actually their own origin. And when you feel inside that hexonic field, inside this field here, you see that you can focus on this circle and see a process there in which you may settle, of you could shift your attention from there to there and do the same thing here couldn’t you. You can do it wherever you like in infinite space. You can start doing the same thing over here again, we can just do exactly the same thing, and yet another. Now observe, that when we shift consciousness we do not shift above it. If I look at this circle, and then at this circle, and then at this circle, I am not shifting anything other than what is called attention. True that my eyeball, if the picture is large, will roll along while I am looking at it, from side to side, but the movement of my eyeball doesn’t cause the shift of my attention, but the shift of my attention is followed by the movement of the eyeballs. I am aware of a periphery around the circle, I am aware of space beyond the circle. I can see this lamp shining here, peripherally, but I can see the space beyond it, my awareness includes awareness of space, and space is infinite, therefore my awareness is infinite, therefore I can be aware there is a person sitting here and another person sitting next to him, and then I can say, I will now focus, turn the eye onto Peter, turn my eye onto Claire, turn my eye onto Doctor Wadsworth, onto Barbara Wadsworth and so on. I am shifting my eye along, my physical eye, after I have shifted my attention. So, a peculiar thing, this field, which is infinitely extended and cannot go anywhere and therefore in which movement is totally impossible is incapable of stopping me shift my attention. So this absolutely rigid field of form that we call the Hexonic field does not immobilise consciousness. The consciousness itself, infinitely extended, by its intention has created this hexonic field. By its focus, it has made these circles throughout infinity, and by a simple shift of focus intention in itself it gives rise to what it calls ‘movement.’ Really the whole of space is full absolutely of those circles which are little vibratory pressures and relaxations, alternating. And when I look at you all, I can shift my attention from this side to this side and make my eyeball follow so that I focus my attention on my friend John Coop, and I focus on that girl with the hairdo called Peg, and Abel behind writing a note, I see Hannah Rigg, up there at the back, and I saw her while I was looking at John. I mentioned her later but I saw her and I am aware of her presence simultaneously. Now, if we talk about this carefully, I am aware of John’s presence, I am aware of Hannah’s presence, I am aware of Herbie’s presence, I am aware of Bernard’s presence and so on, all these presences are pi-ra-essences, a presence is a pi ratio essence. That is, it is in this hexonic field there is a circle called Bernard Lawrence. There is another one called Herbie Hunter, there is one called John Coop and each of these circles has its name and its form. Think about it very carefully. All of these circles co-exist in absolute simultaneity, they are all co-present and the supreme presence of presences is that which comprises all our little circles in itself and itself is watching, that is it is aware of the feelings of tension inside itself, each little tension zone constituting an individual like Bernard or Hannah and so on
Consider what that means. It means that in the realm of the eidetic no form ever moves but the intention moves in the consciousness. The form can’t move because it is already infinitely extended. Being infinitely extended it can’t go anywhere because it is already there, but the consciousness can focus in point A, point B, point C and so on. So by a simple shift of consciousness there is apparently a movement of bodies. Think of the implications of that and let us go back to our trine again. The true is this form absolutely unchangeable, in the hexonic field. The good is the amount of energy we put in our intention to focus, the amount of energy of intention to focus. Focus is fo-cus that means force-strike. A blow struck by an energy is called a focus, and this focus is consciousness. Consciousness as a mysterious power able to converse, able to bring itself down to one of those hexonic circles. It can do this, it has created these hexons in this way by this weird inherent power of self focus. A very ancient magical word was fohat, FOHAT. It meant the equivalent of ‘let there be.’ Fohat, that is to say, take the force and fix it in opposition, then nail the opposing forces.
Power, form, assessment in feelings. Consider this very carefully. It means that any single person here can interfere with its own state and because all these circles are intermeshed it can interfere with the state of any other circle within the infinite field. You can change your mood and interfere with the mood of the person next to you. You could alter your breathing rate and thy will become aware, at first unconsciously then consciously that you are breathing differently. It is not uncommon for wives to say in the middle of the night, to husbands, “Why are you breathing like that? You are doing something, what are you doing? You are interested in something other than me. Where are you?” They are very, very aware of these changes in rhythm even in the breathing. Now male minds think, “Oh well, she just noticed that my breathing was different so I will control my breathing.” But the moment he controls his breathing, she becomes aware that he is controlling his breathing and she says, “Why are you controlling your breathing?” True? There are one or two heads recognise it. So there is really no escape for the male mind because the moment it becomes aware that it is under observation from feeling and it makes an adjustment to protect itself from this invasion of feeling, the feeling being that owns him says, “Why are you controlling yourself? Don’t you wish to be read don’t, you wish to be felt and examined by intuitive feeling?” There is no escape. There is no escape because this feeling is the field of reality. You cannot insulate yourself from feeling. You follow this in electronic theory, you cannot insulate from a field. You can insulate a wire sufficiently to let an electronic current a running row of electrons go down it, and you can, by insulating materials of rubber and plastic and so on, make it stay in the wire but you cannot a field appearing round it out side the rubber. Confining a field is absolutely impossible. You can relatively force them, by electronic trickery and magnetism, to narrow themselves slightly but you cannot eliminate their capacity for transcending the limitations of the insulating material.
So, we can say that feeling itself is already transcendent. Think of that very carefully. If instead of thinking, you fellows, if you start feeling just feel around you instead of thinking, you become aware of other beings. Now, if you think carefully about your favourite idea, you can forget that there are any other beings in the world. You can forget so much that you can actually go out and enjoy yourself and then, about eleven thirty, remember that you were married. It can actually happen. I’ve known it happen, it is not just a joke. True he was only married three months but it is possible to focus on your favourite idea so strongly that you don’t know anything else exists. But the moment you start feeling, you do know that there are other feelings, there are other beings and that they don’t feel identical with yourself. So the feeling is essentially, transcendent. Feeling transcends in two directions. It transcends any idea you care to formulate because every idea is representable by a circle which includes and excludes and it transcends in the direction of the will because in order to will you have to converge and bring yourself towards a point progressively, like that, if you are going along and that convergence renews awareness of what is going on around you. So feeling transcends the will and feeling transcends the idea.
We feel the two kinds of greats, the great thinkers, the Hegels, the Spinozas, the Platos, or we read the history of the human race what do we find? A chapter called Great Thinkers, and another one called, Great Empire Builders, and only when as people become more and more sensitive, do they have a section called Great Artists who feel, but they are considered as a sort of decoration for the empire builders and the thinkers. But, in fact, that which they consider to be a mere decoration is the source of the empire builder’s energy and of the form of the philosophy builder. So the feeling is absolute, feeling is transcendent and feeling is the only non-idolatrous thing we have got. An idea, pinning down in an act of identification, tying your feeling down into identification, that idea is an idol. An impulse of will making your body do something is likewise an idol, an idol of power. You have two kinds of idols, idols of power and idols of truth; idols of empire builders, idols of philosophy builders. But the feeling can break identification, and when it does so there is a total transcendence of the idea, of the philosophy, and of the will, of the empire. S that any proposition whatever, in any period of history can be transcended by feeling and this pre-occupation with the examination of feeling is only just beginning to appear in the human race as a serious matter for consideration by philosophers, by scientists and even by empire builders.
We must become conscious of our feeling transcending the idea. When we get an idea, we must feel around the idea, we must feel how other people react to this idea. We must feel how it affects the impulse to act in ourselves and other people and in this feeling assessment is this secret, so that if you ask yourself which is it best to be, what is the automatic thing? If you w ere told that truth, beauty and goodness were separable and you had to choose which of the three you would choose, which of the three would it be? Any offers?
Well the more intelligent you are the more you will say “Beauty.” If you are impulsive you might say, “Good, will.” If you are a bit rigid in the intellect, you might say, “True.” But if you are merely true you would be rigid and dead and if you are merely wilful you would not be in any one place for two seconds together and you would have no formal awareness of what you were doing and you would just be a continuously travelling vectoring energy going nowhere in particular. So the beauty, which balances these two processes, is the ultimate reality from which we derive and the ultimate goal towards which we are going.
Now, there is a very ancient saying, which says you can never gain something which you have already got. And some people have been very frightened by this and said, well I haven’t got much money, that means I can never gain it, or I haven’t got much sense, that means I can never gain it. What it actually means is, you are already in full possession of infinite sentience, infinite sensitivity, infinite beauty. You are already in full possession, but you have made a little mistake of thought or will. Either you have conceived yourself in thought to be finite, to be limited, or you have impulsively operated as if you are an independent being. Two ways of falling, falling to idea in which you believe you are separate or separable from other beings, and the falling from will in which you impulsively do something. And both of those falls are a fall out of the transcendence of feeling. Imagine an infinite field of power extended in all directions and imagine this power perfectly balanced, and imagine this power, it its perfect balance is perfectly reflexive in its own state. Nothing can disturb it, it knows itself, absolutely. Imagine this power has the power by its own focus, to bring a circle into being and imagine it produces a circle inside itself, a sphere, and it posits this inside its consciousness. That is fine. But, supposing, having posited this sphere and started it rolling, it becomes interested in the rolling sphere and becomes fascinated by it. Fascinated means bound, bound by its own object. It has made a sphere. I have looked into this sphere I have made. I wonder what is inside it? I will go in and I will have a look. Now, if it remembers that it made the sphere around a zone of nothing except pure sentience, it wouldn’t have to go in would it? Because it would know what it would find, itself. It has posited a sphere inside itself and been delighted with this sphere has lit itself in its consciousness and this sphere is an original glowing in original house. And then it goes inside the house and it looks at the walls of the sphere and it becomes very interested in the sphere. It becomes so interested, it puts so much energy inside that sphere, examining the walls of the sphere, that it forgets that there is an outside to the sphere. It sounds silly, doesn’t it, to do a thing like that? But that is precisely what the human soul has done. Here we are, down on Earth, and what do we look at? In the night skies we join hands with the famous son and the infamous woman of Solomon and we look into the sky and we are looking at the inside of this sphere. What do we see? Stars, funny lights. We are so delighted with them we spend thousands of years drawing them and making maps of them and observing that they seem to go round a centre and we actually keep little time counts of them. Do you know that one of those lights has a periodicity of five hundred and fifty million light years. Isn’t it interesting! You get a touch of the Patrick Moores you see.
Now, you sit inside your sphere on Earth and you start counting these blasted things, and then you think, I wonder what I am? I must invent a name for them. I know, I started counting those bright things; I’ll call them stars. And so they were called stars, and the totality of them were called Astarte and they said, we don’t want anybody to know about this so we will have a secret code and we will pretend there is a goddess called Astarte and we will pretend we are worshipping her so that when people find us walking about at night like this, instead of saying you are crackers looking at those lights, they will say they are worshippers of Astarte. True we keep falling down wells while we are doing it, but we have a contract with each other to drag each other out of the well. Thus began Astarte worship.
Now, from that lovely beginning, we go on studying things. You keep that one going, you know. But we also study things a bit nearer, like the Solar System and the planets and then we start studying other things on Earth. Anything whatever will do, the back leg of a frog, forty-volume introduction, the important thing is to be interested in what is going on inside this great sphere.
Now the peculiar thing, interest is energy input. And when you put energy into a thing, you say it is goo-d. You decide that you will study donkeys so you set yourself a definite amount of energy to do it and you build yourself a promise, with a Nobel Prize at the end of it, you are a specialist in donkeys, you are going to write and absolute authoritative book on the donkey. It will be very fat and full of plates of all kinds including foldout figures. For this, you get a prize. And because of this, there is a tremendous accumulation of the inside of this great sphere called knowledge and people are absolutely astounded by it. They go into the library, they see rows and rows of books and they think all these books are full of knowledge and I haven’t read them all. Oh me, Oh my, now if somebody tests me suddenly, “How many hairs on the nose of a donkey and I can’t reply, I am going to feel a perfect fool. So I must start reading this fat volume of donkey law. And there is a conspiracy on the part of publishers and writers of fat books, to encourage this idea. And the great Gnostics of the early Christian years got into trouble for exposing this trick and they said, “You know that great sphere that you talk about and that some people have declared to be God and you have to bend the knee to it and obey it? It is really a great big jailer, an arcon whose sole job there is to keep you fascinated inside the sphere, to keep it going, to keep the interest going. Meanwhile, on the outside of that same sphere, there is one eternal, infinitely spreading smile. All it does outside there is smile, to think about what is going on inside that circle.
Now, we could never get out if ever we were in. This is very, very important. You can never get out if ever you were in. You never were in this sphere. The sphere has always been inside consciousness and this consciousness you are. In the equation aham brahman, I am this extension. I have never been locked up. True, I was told I should be locked up, by my educators. I have tried to believe it. I have done O levels and A levels, BAs, MAs, PhDs, you name it I have done it but I never could believe it. I tried to be good, as Luxembourg says, in closing down, because I know that I should, but I can’t believe it. Now this is the peculiar thing about the human race. It has tried and does try to believe things it doesn’t believe. Haven’t you tried to believe in God, at some time in your life, sitting on a cloud up there? When you have got a bit wiser haven’t you swapped it and said it is not really on a cloud up there it is a sort of universal intelligent power. You have done your best haven’t you but you don’t believe it. You can’t believe it, if you try to believe it you become what is called, confused because if you try to do something you can’t do you have what is called double presentation, the thing that you are supposed to believe in and the fact that you can’t believe it, double presentation, that is confusion. You never were identified fully with your physical body were you? Were you Herbie?
Did your consciousness ever get down to the body so that you thought and felt that you were only extended unto that skin and that you had no rights beyond it?
Otherwise you would not have got married would you? Even marriage is a kind of transcendence isn’t it of the measly differents of your skin surface? You have always known this haven’t you? Everybody has ever known that they have never been fully identified with the physical organism. They have tried to be to please Mummy and Daddy, or schoolteachers, or university professors. Even monarchs, they have tried to believe what they cannot believe because the reality that you cannot get rid of is the infinity of your feeling sensitivity. Thank you. That must mean time to have a drink. Is that right?
GOODNESS, TRUTH AND BEAUTY