HERE AND NOW
The text of a talk given at parklands by Eugene Halliday, Ishval Audio 116
Well actually we are talking about the here and the now and in order to define the here and now we must say what so far, philosophically, has been said about a space and time, because here is a concept and now is a time concept. And these two things cohere very nicely on a piece of printed music. I’ll draw you up a little stave, five lines with every good boy deserves a favour on them for those of you who remember those and within the spaces FACE. It illustrates very clearly the difficulty of the problem.
A piece of printed music contained space and time, and the space is represented, like most human inventions illogically, the wrong way. But there is a very intelligent firm in Holland called klavar schribel which means ‘piano writing’, writing for the keyboard and they print the music the other way round at right angles to the way orthodox people do it. And they do this because it is more logical. If we were to put the base clef here, five more lines, I won’t bother to do the rest, we’ll put a little line in the middle called the ledger line and we call the ledger line between there, middle there middle C, that is middle C, around the middle of the piano, then we can see that if we were to turn the whole thing round this way and do our five lines like this, we could look at this stave very logically, we could print all the music this way round, we could put this middle C opposite the key on the piano, to right or left of that note on a line or in a space, and then we could immediately play the music without having to learn music, because we would then have a space diagram here representing the space of the keys, and our time diagram we could use vertically. We could print this on a rolling piece of paper, rather like this one and when we had to play a certain note, we could pull that note out of the way and play the next one, always play the one opposite the eye, and this would enable us to play immediately any music, within the capacity of our manual dexterity, at sight. This particular Dutch player, inspired by the simplicity of Esperanto, applied the same simple concepts and knowing tat this other the mode, the orthodox mode is really a space-time diagram, they just turned it round. Anybody can just read music immediately without any further lesson if they get a piece if they get a piece of ordinary music and just turn it over, so the lines are running vertically, and then take the little ledger line between, put it opposite the middle C., and then count to right or left of that note, and then play wherever there is a dot, put a finger. Put it opposite the middle C and then count to right or left of that note and play. Wherever there is a dot, put a finger, rather like a ukulele used to be played in the old days and some guitar music still is.
Now this illustrates a peculiar relation that on the same diagram we can show space and time.
Now I am going to dismiss klavar scribel for a moment and ask you all to sit for the next hour with your heads on one side like this so that you can get the same effect as you would get with the klavar-scribel writing but with a pain in the neck. You will find that this teaches you another thing about time that time always means energy expenditure, because you neck muscles will get tired and if you try to hold your head in that position for very long it will begin to ache. This is quite an important thing that time involves energy expenditure.
Now let’s think about it, now that we have a space diagram here and a time diagram this way. When you are playing music you will turn your pages over this way and that’s probably easier than turning them over that way as they would tend to fall down again. But you have bars to divide the thing and you put, say in a waltz you have three beats, and you write those beats, we will say, like that, I shall shade them in. there are three crochets for you and we will count 1, 2, 3, and we might repeat that to reverse it 1,2,3, for the next bar. And we can imagine that if we put a finger on this note and then a finger on this note and then and then a finger on this note and so on, this direction represents time and this direction represents the space. We put a finger on E, a finger on G, a finger on B, the same finger on B, and then the finger we put on G there we put on G here, and the finger we put on E there we put on E here. And we are doing two things, spreading our fingers in space over the keyboard and we are counting time. We might find on a piece of music, sixty here with crochets = ( = 60) and that means you will count one second per crochet, sixty to the minute. Supposing we do this, one, two, three, one, two three, we have now taken six seconds to play six notes and in so doing we have expended a certain amount of energy. Now supposing I put little tails on these and alter the time and say I am going to have three/eight instead of three/four, I am going to have three quavers and instead of saying 1,2,3, I am going to say 123, 123. in other words I am going to play them in half time. Now to do this I have to concentrate a bit more to get more energy into the explication of that music. I have to put energy down my arm. Supposing I put two tails on them, now I have got to play them twice as quick again. If I put three tails I am going to have to expend more energy, more alertness and go ( …, … )
Did somebody jump then?
When I do this, I expend energy and if I put lots of little lines on and then put at the beginning of the music, terribly, awfully very fast by request of the composer, then we can very, very hot when we are doing it. We might do this when we are pretending to be petunias in the Children’s Hour and rush rapidly about the room, with somebody saying, “And don’t forget to plant yourself in every little hole when you come to it. Now this makes the children very hot.
Now we can put hemi, demi, semi, hemi semi, demi quavers, punct drawled tremor when we try to do it. In other words if I start trying to keep up with the conceivable notes………
Actually there is a very clever fellow in the next world, he left this world a few years ago, Simon Bahrraer and he could play that kind of piano music perfectly, with every note clear and articulated correctly, and phrased far better than anyone else I have heard, but he was expending energy. And we must bear this in mind, we have space, time and energy expended. This allows us to analyse the music in terms of space, time, power. Here is the space, this way is the time, and the amount of energy you use in hitting each note, called by the musicians the dynamic, means how hard do you strike it. You make strike a note very, if you are doing a very comic type of German waltz, you do a waltz like 123,123, 123 you strike the first note very strongly and the other two less strongly. If you are doing four in the baar you strike the first one strongly, the third one not quite as strongly, the second one less strongly and the fourth one least strongly. If you count your four with all the notes equally, counting one two three four, one, two, three, four with no stress accent on them, you are squaring your music. Now beginners in conducting are often told not to beat squarely in this way. We have to remember that we are expending energy through time over space.
Now let us consider what we have to say about time. Here is the word time, and we see that it reads in the opposite direction, emit. This is a reference to the energy that is released every moment by any existential observer of time. In other words you cannot observe time without releasing energy moment by moment. So time, as experienced by human beings depends on energy emission by those human beings.
If you don’t emit any energy at all from your central energy store, through the brain, down certain nerves to certain organs, then you will not perceive anything. If you become abstracted in your inner processes you do not send energy to your external sense organs but you do send energy from your brain centres to specific memory storage placed to energise memory images. You do this in dreams and in dreamless sleep you do something else. But you are still expending energy as long as you exist.
Now we see that the problem of space and time is related in this way. The musical notation and the staves show us a very simple representation of it. But now let us look at another thing.
If I look down the room from where I am, I am over here and the rest of the room is like this, and a lot of people over here, now I cannot with this physical eye focus sharply on a very large area. It is quite a small area that I focus on. So I am going to imagine that I am looking at this group of people like this, but only a very narrow channel of vision is in focus and the rest of it here is more or less out of focus. There is one part of the eye that will hold everything in very, very sharp focus and right on the periphery of the eye and the rest of the eye is not so sharply focussed and right on the periphery of the eye it is very much out of focus, but it has a peculiar quality. The part that is most closely in focus gives me the sharpest formal definition at the expense of making the image static. You can experiment in your spare time with this. But where you are sharply in focus and can define the form accurately, there the thing is static; but where the periphery is, where you are vague, you are very conscious of movement So if some obliging people start wiggling about or being irritated or scratching or turning their heads, my eye is very aware of the movement but with no sharp formal focus. This has a survival utility value for animals and for human beings because your periphery being wired to movement detection centres in the brain means that any moving object that is out of focus will attract your attention and you will be able to become aware of that as a potential threat to existence or a potential point of interest and you can then rapidly switch your eye to it to see if it is a danger potential or a delight potential. And if it is a matter of no moment to you, you can turn back and continue your focus elsewhere.
Now this is very important because we are going to talk about the here and the now and how important it is. Remember important means we are importing our energies into the time-space-power situation.
If I deliberately don’t focus on any particular person, by putting my eyes not focussed on anybody in particular, I am still aware of the crowd of people there, but I can’t see at the moment and particular features because I am focussed on the point in the air, and I am busy watching the little movement of the molecules of air in so far as they interfere by their peculiar refractive index, with the light display. And when I do this so that I comprehend the whole room’s content in this one moment by not focussing. Then, if I focus on a particular person sharply and keeping a sharp focus, I want to look at the rest of the room I must scan. So if I look at Sal in one second and want to see sharper in focus to compare her with Abel. Why I should do this I don’t know, I must now turn my eye and look at Abel sharply in another second, and then at Claire, who is sitting very upright and this takes me three seconds. And when I do this, for the time being I have lost formal consciousness of the remainder of the people in the room and they have all become blurred. But if they move, I will become aware of the movement and I may take a quick flip to see who is moving, and why, or I might ignore it according to the character of the movement. If it is a curvaceous movement and not sudden staccato and not straight line-ish, I will not normally interpret it as aggression, but it could be, if he is a very cunning person. He may know that a fox will walk round a field to catch a rabbit in curves which do not startle, gradually reducing the diameter of its circle, until it is walking round the rabbit within a foot. And the rabbit has watched it like this, and because there was no straight, aggressive line it has not been scared. So we must allow the possibility that a curvaceous mover over there might be curvaceously throwing a boomerang. Still we don’t expect it here so we can statistically ignore it.
Now observe, that when I expend energy in sharp focus on one thing, I exclude for the time being, a sharp focus on the rest of reality and in order to see another thing in equal sharp focus I must turn my eyes and the turning of my eyes takes time.
Now let us draw this. Supposing here is a lady, you can always tell a lady, that’s a lady, and here is a gentleman. Now observe that if you focus on this one, this one goes relatively out of focus, and if you decide to compare that one with this and look at this, then that one goes relatively out of focus. But you can retain an image of this in your memory and overlap it with this one in your memory and thus compare them. If they were exactly congruent, there would be no difference in the images and there would be little point in making the comparison.
Now observe another thing, that these two occupy different spaces just as surely as the different notes on the musical stave occupy different spaces. So this again is a space-time diagram. If I were to say that is the note E and that is the note G, then I would say I will spend one crochet time looking at that one and the next crochet in that one, but there is a gap between.
Now it takes time to turn my eye from this curly-headed lady, through space to contemplate this straight headed gentleman, so that I am looking at the A figure, then the space, then the B. This is very important in music because it means I have got to come in at A and then at B. at a certain point in time, I must cut my A’s end off a bit to allow me time to traverse the space to get onto B. And I can stretch the space a little bit, delay the B, or I can shorten the spaces, anticipate the B and sensitively to this kind of thing often makes the difference to good and bad phrasing.
Now, let us use the story of the little fellow who is up from the country, with a plum-coloured, long hairy suit on, this is a real person I am describing, and he comes up from darkest Staffordshire. He comes up once in three months and his pocket is fat with his wallet, and he goes into some place of amusement, and he is looking around, very slowly, in a manner like an old-fashioned bucolic, now very rare; and there is a little weasel gentleman with a sharp nose and very sharp eyes, with a partner of course, and this bucolic gentleman is looking very slowly at all these unfamiliar things because the pace of his mentation, his mental process, is relatively slow, because in the environment from which he comes, change is slow. But, in the city environment of these little pick-pockets, changes are quicker and they get more practice. Also, their peculiar occupation helps them to accelerate their rate of perception, so they actually perceive more percepts per second than he does.
So they see that he has come in, with his long, hairy suit on, actually. They look at his boots, they look at his slow way of looking round, they see his fat pocket, they see him pat it slowly and reassuringly and they quickly work out he has been saving up. They think very quickly at their course of campaign, A says to B, “You nip round the other side, bump into him accidentally, apologize and start straightening his coat for him and while you are doing this on the one side I will go to the other side and remove his wallet.” Now they are putting in more percepts per second into their activity, than he is.
So in Christ’s terminology they are what is called “quick” and in Christ’s terminology he is called “dead.” That is to say he has a relatively static and slow-paced mental process.
Now let us see what this means in relation to the here and now. Supposing I am a very, very slow thinker and I look at this curly headed lady and focus her and this gentleman now goes out of focus and he is one of these quick fellows, he knows he is out of focus because I am focussed on this curly-headed lady, in fact he put the curly headed lady there in order for me to focus on her, to divert my attention. While I am gazing at this curly-headed lady, he is quickly making up his mind what to do about certain schemes of his. When I focus sharply on her I narrow my consciousness down to traverse the form I am looking at, and I temporarily go out of focus for the rest. If he moves smoothly and curvaceously and non-aggressively, he is likely to go unnoticed, so that with this interesting object here I am totally absorbed and totally focussed and made unaware of the surrounding situation. And let us call this a ‘Now’ in which I am focussed on her. In this ‘now’, I have a purpose, I am emitting energy, I must have purpose, I must emit energy, otherwise I don’t see her. To see is to emit energy and to have a purpose. This is tremendously important because the amount of energy and the characterisation of that energy depends upon my purpose. So that, if I see interesting things, interesting means in accordance with my purpose, a thing cannot be interesting unless it seems to fulfil part of my purpose. To be interested is simply to see a possibility of the fulfilment of a purpose. Let us call that a ‘now’, but observe that the lady herself has a certain width of skull, so that when I sharply focus on the right hand curl of Sal and then decide that I will compare it with the left hand curl I have to traverse the width of the face. So we are going to use a technical term for this and we will write it down for those people who cannot see, and we are going to say that all experienced events are protensive.
Now protensive means that they are stretched in time. They have duration. This is very, very important because a protensive event, an event is the actual process of perception, a protensive event is taking time for me to perform it, and if I perform this very, very slowly another being might be performing some other less protensive event of his own, in which case I am at a disadvantage. Philosophically, all our experience is based on protensive events. We are seeing things extended in space and time. It takes time to see space, so that we cannot separate space and time and the energy that we expend in perceiving them. Space, time, power we must think of as a trinity. Do not think of power being expended except through time on a given space.
When the Ancients saw the external world, they ordinarily saw it protensively. That is to say they took time to travel along the tiger from the tail end to the jaw end. And if you can imagine a man who is focussed on a tiger’s tail sticking up out of the bamboos and it is going like this and he is looking at it, and then going slowly along like these folk do to the other end and at the other end, aaangh. Now into his protensive experience he gets a little shock. How did he know, with his protensive mode of protection that that little bit of wiggling stuff had a tiger on the end; he didn’t. Now many men were lost through extended experience of this type.
And it still happens. If you have got a pussy cat and it hasn’t been trained to be a vegetarian, that means no pussy cat, and you observe it in the garden, stalking a bird it will often flatten its body onto the ground and creeping very slowly along will pause at particular intervals and erect its tail and bend the tip of it like this. And when it does it, the birdies look up and they see…. And the birdies go ( whistles) and then something jumps on them.
This is part of what Christ said, “I can’t tell you everything just now, but when the Holy Spirit comes he will enlighten you.” St Paul called it strong meat not fit for babies.
Now, some other men long ago called Chaldeans, or White Judges, they said this protensive kind of experience isn’t the very best surely there is a better method than this that we can devise so they said let us take any percept that is extended over time and practise turning our heads very quickly and see how quickly we can get a sharp focus on both ends of the tiger, that is on Sal and Claire one of them is the tail and the other is the jaw and we are not giving away which. Now the Chaldeans said let’s divide this protensive occasion and concentrate on the first half and put more energy into it and see if we can’t quickly focus, focus, focus and do this in one and a half crochets instead of three. And then, let us practise again and let us practise again and again. Now you can see what is happening, if we keep on halving this protensive event, our moment of sharp focus is getting smaller and smaller and smaller.
Now what we want to know is, is there a limiting factor to this process of intensification of observation. Now we know, that in the nervous system of a human being, as of animals in general, a percept involves the release of energy quanta. Nervous impulses have to dash from one place to another, from a brain centre along the optic nerve and so on to a certain destination, they must go, so how quickly can we persuade those nervous impulses to travel? Now their rate of propagation to a nerve after much examination has been considered, by some thinkers, to be more or less fixed. Others doubt this. The different speeds in the reaction of certain animals, suggests that there must be some other factor at work under certain critical situations. For instance you may be having a protensive walk, shop-walking. looking in large windows, slowly panning your eyes over the goodies, and you might suddenly see in the reflection in the window, a large lorry mount the kerb and proceed to dash rapidly towards that same window, and at that moment, warned by the linear quality of the motion of that lorry, that it is aggressive by your peripheral motion awareness you suddenly leap out of the way, if you are lucky.
Now we are going to put that word lucky down because it is related to another word. We will come to that in a moment. When you intensively perceive with the deliberate intent of shortening the gap between percepts, your activity is intensive, you expend more energy in that moment and you are moving towards this limiting factor in your nervous system. You can see what will happen at a certain point and anybody who has actually played a musical instrument will know that in practising very rapid passages, often a saturation point is reached where the muscles are blocked so they cannot release the energy quick enough to redo the act. So that I put my fingers down on a note and I have to pick it up again to strike it again, every time I pick it up to get the necessary height to attack it with the force I want, it takes time to lift it up, now if I want to get it down again I have to fire another nerve impulse at certain muscle groups to put it down and if I fire them to quickly it hasn’t got time to up in order to come down. The result is a feeling of blockage, an actual impedance of action by the very nervous impulses that are aiming at increased efficiency. Once upon a time, not very long ago it was believed in aeronautics, that there was a sound barrier and that planes could not fly through it. Again there was an impedance if in generating its own resistance but after certain redesigning and rethinking mathematically and so on they broke the sound barrier. It has been said there is a light barrier and that bodies cannot travel fast enough than a hundred and eighty six thousand two hundred and forty miles per second this remains to be seen in future.
Men are always setting up barriers and their sons, like all sons do with fathers, break them. Now the question arose, are we committed to a limit of intensification for accelerated perceptions so that there is a certain decisive point where we cannot get faster. Now this greatly intrigued the Chaldeans. They had divided time up now into moments that were so small that ordinary people thought these moments didn’t exist. Now this meant to say that the great White Judge could actually take advantage of his slower brother, because he could perceive more in less time.
Now those of you who are engineering students will know that you talk about a moment in engineering terms and you mean by it the point in time where a change of direction of motion occurs. So that, if I had a lever there, balanced on a fulcrum, and I put a weight on there and I press it with my finger here, I can balance this weight with my finger, and then if I press down a bit harder, at a certain point, my end will go down and the weight will go up. Now the precise point where that change occurs, is a moment, using the word technically, a moment. So a moment then is a portion of time in which a change is induced. Now moments therefore are terribly important, because only in a moment can you change your mind. This means only in a moment have you any initiative; only in a moment are you free.
Now it is usual in philosophy to treat moments as abstract ideas and protensive events as real. So the moment is only an abstraction of the intellect made by theoretically subdividing a protensive event. That is an event with a degree of time duration but it was suggested that maybe, if you crammed it hard enough and impeded yourself, on this time line, you might put so much energy into it that a totally new mode of perception might emerge, and we will represent this one by an arrow going at right angles to the time one.
Remember we are thinking about a very tricky subject. It is generally accepted that it is possible to conceive all historical events in the World on a single line. That is we can draw a line and we can write ten sixty six on it and twelve fifteen, you know these dates, those of you who are lovers of Tchaikovsky will know at least one date, and we can write these dates on one single line, and this we will call time. And there is a passive acceptance by people in general, that all temporal events, fall on this line, and that at any given moment, a living person is observing a portion of that time line and if we are up to nineteen fifty eight here, we are observing here, and all the beings we are observing before we were born and who are now no longer with us, are considered by us to be non-existent simply because our mode of perception is narrowed down to now, and our now is nineteen sixty eight.
If we go back to consider this idea we will see if we put time in this manner and then try to draw the orbit of the Earth on a single time line and the orbit of Venus and Mercury, and the Sun, because the Sun also has an orbit, and the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and Saturn and so on, if we try to draw all these motions on one line we will find it is rather difficult. We could do it with a kind of wiggly line or we could do it with a kind of spiral line going all through the infinities of space if we counterfeit. I mean we can do it theoretically, we really haven’t the time to do it actually but we can think that we could do it if we lived long enough, we could draw that line. But that line is not a straight line. We cannot draw the time events of the Earth on a straight line as anybody knows who flies from London to New York and then from New York to London and because the Earth is rotating one way, time going and time coming are not quite the same, and because the Earth is spinning on its axis, and going round the Sun, the Earth line is already quite complex made more so by the fact that the whole Solar system is travelling through space, so when we tend to think about time as on a single line, we are really just over-simplifying the situation for our own convenience. Now we can do this for our own convenience, when we are going to one particular place, we can deliberately say, well this is what is called an hour’s journey from A to B, I want to go to B and be, there at eight so I will start at seven and deliberately draw an imaginary time line an then go to it.
But a peculiar thing about this time line is, that its spatial equivalent, the actual journey we travel, is not a straight line at all. Not only because along the roads which the car travels are not straight but because the Earth itself is spinning, and travelling round the Sun, and the Sun round another place. But nevertheless, it is customary in general Western Philosophy to say it is generally accepted by philosophy that all the temporal events of the Universe can be theoretically written on one line and placed and dated on that line. But the same philosophy said this means the time is much easier to deal with than space because space cannot be represented on one line, it requires three lines at right angles to each other. Space is three-dimensional and by the previous view, time is only one-dimensional. It is therefore said it is easier to think about time because space has two extra dimensions. Now this can only be arrived at by deliberate simplification of a highly complex thing.
Now we are coming to the important part of all this, what do we mean by here and what do we mean by now. We are going to deal with space and time, and we are writing here and now. Now, when we say “now” we are using a statement that really means I an observer am emitting energy to my organs of perception. A “now” only exists when I emit energy from my energy store to an organ of perception and so stimulate it. All now therefore depends upon the fact that we are emitting energy. Now what do we mean by “here?” This is rather trickier because now what it means is the locus in which the observer himself exists.
So I am going to draw for here a circle and I am going to put an I in it, because the observer is talking about his own immediate environment when he says “here.” And if he is asked to say precisely what does he mean by ‘here’ spatially, he will have to say, “Where I am.” So my here, for me is right in the centre of my observing consciousness, and if I refer to Margy on the back row, I call her there relative to my body, my observation post although I would say she is here within this room. I call here “here” providing she is within my observed environment.
If I prefix this with a T and make this into there, then I must write the T on the periphery of my awareness. A ‘there’ is a here for another being that I have peripheralised.
So if I look at Margaret this time, she looks as if she is looking, she looks as if she is listening and because of certain similarities in her expression and mine, by analogy, on a purely materialistic hypothesis, I could infer, that she is feeling more or less, according to the principle of the common touch, more or less like I would be feeling, if I had that kind of expression on my face and I were not kidding. And I would say, because she is now on the periphery of my field of observation, then I will prefix the here which belongs to her, with a T to mark the periphery of my observation, and I will say, “She is there.”
The fundamental idea is this, H is an old glyph, written in Egyptian like a thrice twisted cord, and anciently like a ladder, and it means power and it means hierarchy, and it means levels of possibility. Now this is tremendously important, because you never make a decision in the whole of your life, about anything, except in a here and now. That means, the here means a power situation, with the power differentiated into different beings. If I can see the differentiations of power in the here, and then I emit energy, that is, create a ‘now’, if I emit my energy onto a particular part of that here, a moment occurs. Remember a moment means a change. But when I emit energy, and thus create a ‘now’ into a ‘here’, that is a differentiable power situation, I create a moment. A moment means a new orientation.
Now we can begin to see why all the sages say, “Live in the here and now.” That is in a full, sharp intensive awareness of the differences of power in all the beings presented within your field of experience. Just for laughs you can notice that ‘now’ spells the word ‘won’, victory, backwards. Remember every man that has ever been called great in the History of the human race, has had one quality and one only, in common with every other great man. Their noses are different lengths, some go up, some go down, some are thin, some are broad, all these things differ. Napoleon, Hitler, Genghis Khan, Stalin, Trotsky, all these men have different shapes but they have one thing in common and this thing they never wrote about in their works although it was factually a basis of their whole dynamic approach to life. They always lived in the here and now. That is, they are always looking at the power differentiations presented in that situation in which they were emitting energy. So they were momentary figures, we call them momentous occasions when these men enter. When these men enter it is a moment in History, there is a reorientation.
Any person who cannot get in the here and emit energy in the now, is at the mercy of any other person who cannot get in the here and now. Some people think this is a very hard doctrine. It is a very hard doctrine, we’re not going to deny it. We are not even going to say we hope it isn’t true. We just have to accept that it is true, that there is a real difference of power in every being, and even within the same being at different moments of life, and under different physical and mental states. A person has a certain amount of available energy in one mood, and by a verbal trick that person might be made to become depressed and the energies he had five minutes ago might be now unavailable to him. This is a fact; political manipulation depends upon this fact, that a certain manipulation of sound symbols, called words can produce high morale or low morale.
Let’s come back now. Imagine that the whole Universe is extended three dimensionally, and we are going to say that the event that happened a few moments ago when we were talking, took place when the Earth was in a place but now it is not, because whilst we are talking, the Earth is moving. Every event is taking place as well as time. Monday the earth is in a certain position relative to the Sun and the other planets, the next day Tuesday it has moved round a portion of its orbit round the sun, a one hundredth, three hundred and sixty five and a quarter, and in a week it has done roughly fifty- twoth of its distance, so that every event in the Universe happens not only in time but also in a specific location within time. So it is rather naïve to think that time is on a single line, as philosophy suggests, and that we can actually place events on that single line and assume that the past now, in nineteen sixty eight, has no spatial reality simply because we are not focussing upon it.
There is a law in physics today, the law of the conservation of mass energy and the same law, logically extended will include the patternings of that energy in their total permutations, which means that every event that has ever happened, and is now happening, not only in this room, but in Tokyo, Vietnam, the Bowery, every event is taking place in its own locus and the whole system of the Earth is leaving each locality, moment by moment so that the place where it then occurred is still vibrating. We cannot imagine that the Earth is in one position, vibrating as it is with its molecular vibrations, its atomic vibrations, its Field vibrations, and it is vibrating in the position called Monday, and that on Tuesday, the position that was Monday has now stopped vibrating or is totally unconditioned by the vibratory pattern of the Earth in that place we call Monday. This means that all past events are still existing in their own places. But it also means another funny thing. All future events are likewise, are existing, waiting in their specific localities for the specific planet to catch up with them to participate and respond to, a stimuli of those total vibratory patterns of that locus. It means all time past and present and future, is a function of an Absolute here-now.
Remember the size of the Observer is always greater than the observed. Every event that any individual perceives, is perceived by him as a content of his consciousness. The content is always smaller than the consciousness, so the consciousness of an individual human being is greater than any defined object he may possess and the consciousness of a group of human beings, a nation or of the human race, or of the animal world or the vegetable world, the consciousness of the totality of those beings is greater than the total content of all those beings. And if we apply this logically, strictly we will go back to the simple observation that consciousness itself is infinite, and that only the content of consciousness is finite. Now this is what the Chaldeans were chasing.
If the mind tends to serialise, protensively, and to make events, and by practice can cut them down smaller and smaller, we can come to a point where we get total impedance of percepts. Now this is very interesting. It means that if we perceive quickly enough, and pack a sufficient number of percepts into a moment, the smallest moment there is, the Universe is solid percept, that space itself is solid. It is a very peculiar thing that physics today is not unaware of, that there is no empty space in the naïve sense, that space is power, that space-power-consciousness, the emission of energy from place to place, the generation of time, that all these leave no thing whatever within the infinite with any voidity at all, that reality that reality is absolutely solid to the conscious that perceives at its optimum rate.
Now this means that that consciousness will not see the Universe serially at all, it will see it one-ly.
And you know the title of Christ, “The only Begotten.” Here is the word, that is a G. this word means one-ly generated, “The one-ly generated” (GENERATED), instead of “The Only Begotten,” notice here how this can totally mislead people. If religionists of the past have, for some reason of the difficulty of explaining what ‘one-ly generated’ means, have substituted ‘only begotten’ and then fallen into saying that because Christ is only begotten therefore there is only one of him in the Universe, and therefore all the other beings are inferior to his representatives on Earth, we have to say we have to restate the original meaning of the term.
The original meaning is that if you are fast enough, remember Christ is talking about the quick, and he said it himself, “If you go to my Father greater works than these shall you do.” He was just doing a few odd relatively easy miracles like Lazarus-raising and things like that. Well there are cleverer things than that. And he was saying “Go to the generative power and become a one, a proper one by so increasing your rate of perception that instead of becoming protensive you become super intensive, until suddenly the Universe for you is seen as a block with no seriality whatever. It is a block of power infinite. That power is sentient and only when that power is viewed finitely, as emitting energy from one place to another, does the concept of serial time apply. But when you take this highly intensive mode of perception and insist, in-sist within yourself in attaining it, you come to this unific total grasp of reality and this total grasp of non-serialisation infinite being called eternality. When you are talking about eternity and time in opposition, what you are meaning is the non-serial and the serial. Eternal means non-serial, total reality, non-serial. No voidity, full of power. And, remember power is actual, so that ultimate reality is absolute actuality so it has none of the qualities of the solidity of a gross material object in the time process like a lump of lead, but it has something far more solid than that, so solid, and there is no voidity in it whatever and no possibility of a serialisation at that level but only a total and absolute grasp of whole, infinite significance.
Now we can see the value of the here and now because the only way to get to total comprehension of a situation is by high powered, intensive perception, high powered, intensive feeling evaluation, high powered, intensive, volitional activity, simultaneously, in the moment. Now every person is making decisions continuously whilst they are alive. They don’t know it, they are even making decisions about whether to breathe in or out or not at a given second. They think these things are conducted for them by a process called instinctive or reflex action, because they have been taught so by the biologists and others. But, in fact, every breath is a decision to persist in life and every failure of a breath is a decision to get out, and the mind of a protensive thinker is vacillating from moment to moment. One moment he feels like living and he breathes, the next moment he remembers a depressing appointment and his breathing changes.
There is a remarkable inter-penetration of the energies that beat the heart, that control the breathing, that determine the release of nervous energies through the system. So here and now is tremendously complex. Most people, when we say, “Think in the here and now,” most people think there is nothing in the here and now of any interest. Interest was last week when we nearly got to the Opera House, but the traffic block and the rain and the fog turned us back. Now that would have been interesting. Or there is next week, the circus is coming to town, but nothing is happening here and now of any moment. Now what could be more unfortunate, to think that you could make a decision last week, in retrospect, - or next week, before you arrive. The only place any being, from God downwards, has ever made a decision, ever initiated an act, ever solved a problem, ever been momentous is in a here and now.
We will now go on to the practical aspect of this. How do we get into the here and now?
There is only one reply to this, the answer is by doing it, by practising it, by remembering every moment this principle, that decision is here and now, not somewhere else. Not yesterday or last week, not tomorrow or next year, but now. And that, if you do not become conscious in the here and now of this fact that decision is only possible here and now, then you are actually at the mercy of all prior decisions of yourself and the rest of the human race and the totality of forces in the Universe.. Either you free yourself in a here and now by your highly intensive self-observation or you are at the mercy of the mass inertia of your previous decisions that were made vaguely and protensively and the decisions of all the other people who helped you build your environment before you were born, and the rest of the Cosmic Forces. So, only in that here and now can you increase the value of life.
Of course the Ancients joked about this by saying let us take this symbol and define it for our children and if they can solve the riddle, they deserve to get the benefit. Here and now, this is a word HAN, which means grace. It occurs in the name Hannah, it means grace, but this grace can only operate in the here and now. That is nobody is free, except in the moment. Remember moment means the point of time and place when you emit energy, release energy into that situation and thereby change forever your attitude to total reality, Grace means Han here and now and here and now means grace. The G there means the solid block of total reality, and the lowest level, the gross material earth; the race is the time and the extension through time of the manifestations of Absolute Power. The R means the ruling tendencies of the differentiating power of that moment and the ace means the same exactly as the ace in a pack of cards.
Now a pack of cards derives from a highly important symbology and was simplified to keep the people happy so that they wouldn’t try to get grace. But the rules were kept intact and in a game where you employ a pack of cards. You will find that in many of the games, and as a basic of card playing, ace can be either above the king or at the bottom of the pack. You can say ace high, above the king, ace low, one finite individual. The reason is that ace means spirit, spirit infinite, ace high, he is above the king he does not have to accept the definition of mere kings because he knows that their definition is a finite process, the king exactly means to define, to limit and thereby to impose on other beings and thereby to rise above this definitional trick is to be ace high. But not to know that you are a spirit and that SP equals Sentient Power, is to be ace low, that is to be a individual who can be and is frequently treated as a material particle in the corporate existence of living being as a particle, because of lack of awareness of its own central power of decision, is passive to the decisive activities of other beings higher up the hierarchy of self knowledge.
So we will finish this short dissertation about the mystery of here and now and space and time by saying those who want to understand this thoroughly, let then take the world han, and write on a postcard, and keep it in their handbag or wallet or wherever they can find a convenient place to put it, let them, if they can do it by leap of faith, accept that whatever else they may think they may discover in the future, it will never be discovered other than in a then here and now. And that the point of decision here and now to write that nemonic and to refer to it mentally, write this law of grace in your minds and in your hearts, that is understand it with your mind and love it with your heart. And then this grace will begin to operate as a control function, throwing out every lesser concept that would otherwise impede you. Focus in here and now. Learn to focus and shift quickly and remember when you look at a specific object and focus on it, the rest tends to go out of focus, and when you change to look at another thing, deliberately practise remembering the one you have looked at, sharply, and superimpose it on the new thing you are looking at and put them both in sharp focus and see if they are congruent
Do this as an actual exercise and then aim to increase your rate of perceptions so that you get more percepts per second, so that you become more intensive. A very good way of practising this is to make yourself, when reading a book, read faster than you can, with full intensity, actually push yourself through that reading. You can soon feel the difference. If you get a sentence, “Like as the waves move towards the pebbled shore,” and expression like that, and you deliberately focus on each word as you do it and grasp the meaning of it and force yourself on to the next word retaining the meaning of the first word and do it until you get hot. And this is the only way you can become intensive – except as another way.
But the other way is harder. The other way is to sit down and do nothing, strike serial thinking out of your mind with one blow. That is called the sudden school. Sounds easier, sit down, no serial thinking, all gone – you have now arrived. Better to do it the hard way.
You take the high road and I’ll take the low road.
When a musician, playing a serious piece of music, think of what he has to do. He has not only got to see a key signature and a number of sharps and the time and the notes he has to continually remember these things. And when he is playing a sonata and so on, he has to remember that he is playing one of those and remember the pattern of it. And when he is playing the first part he must play it in such a way with the right space, time, power so that third and when he plays the second part, the second part will be relatively neither too much nor too little, too fast or too slow, too loud or too soft and then when he is doing the third part he must remember the first two parts and play the third part in such a way that the first two parts receive their true meaning,
Now imagine in simple counterpoint, where you have only a few things like four human voices to write for and each voice has its own dynamics, its own tempo, own space-time-power programme and the conductor has to listen to only four voices and he is requiring this person to sing a little louder and this person to sing a quieter but quicker and this person to come in with a n-i-c-e little glissando to a certain note, but not too much, because that is bad taste, and he must do all these things at once. Now imagine what he is doing with a full orchestra and you can understand why there are very few, what are called good conductors. And then imagine another being that is conducting total reality in a block, non- serialised. He is cleverer than Mozart.
It is now here and now for refreshments.