Transcribed by Caroline Freestone March 2006
We’ll continue with the subject matter that we dealt with last week about the relation male/female. We’ve got one or two queries about it. Some of them are rather complicated in their form. We’ll try to reduce them a bit. There’s a question here.
Is woman working for development equal to male in acceleration power?
I like that one. I think it’s rather good. Now if we stick to the question very carefully and consider acceleration power we could say very probably she could exceed him if she wished and we’ll see why. If we draw a circle and let that represent a woman with no form inside it at all and we consider that acceleration is rate of change, when a stimulus comes for the first time, that stimulus introduces form and starts the movement towards masculinisation which is the same as inner formulation, so if we can imagine this abstract creature, this pure woman - which of course cannot exist because every being is hermaphroditic - but if we do imagine this abstract being, the first stimulus would obviously throw the whole of the internal substance into a highly complex formal pattern and it would leap from pure femaleness, vacuity, into a high state of formulation at once.
Remember that the being itself is a primary will. When we circumscribe the paper and the paper represents spirit, which is force, initiative power, sentiency, if we consider that power, will, feeling, simultaneously, and abstract any form from it, we are considering it as pure female, and it is then a will which has not yet formed itself. But because it is a will, a power, it can immediately form itself if it wants to do — and it has no inertia, other than that of the act of circumscription, which keeps it in existence.
Now inertia, the continuous restatement of a formal pattern of behaviour of a force, is the friend in so far as it retains form gained but it is also a very big enemy in so far as that same inertia can resist a stimulus from outside. So if we take it that the pure will which is pure female, prior to formulation, is able if it will, to formulate, then it could spring immediately from female to male. But also we have to remember that it is sentient, it is a feeling being that likes and dislikes stimuli coming to it. And this liking and disliking is the friend/enemy. It is the friend because where there are things worth assimilating they may be assimilated, and where there are things not worth assimilating they may be rejected.
But once a form of stimulus has been accepted, then we find inertia beginning to appear. Now this inertia is the same thing as form and this form is a resistance to further stimuli, it sets up special orders. It can assimilate certain other formal forces but it resists certain others. So as soon as masculinisation starts we have formal inertia and rational process, and at the same time resistance to certain other orders of stimulus, so the immediacy of will tends to disappear once formulation has begun.
Now we’ll have to think very carefully and dialectically about this, otherwise we’ll think we’re inverting something we’ve said before. We’ll have to be paradoxical. The paper is intelligent initiative power, sentient. There is nothing other than it and wherever there is a rotation it is made in, of and by that signified by the paper. But as soon as it does circumscribe at all, and the force is going round, that circumscribing force is a barrier to any motion coming from outside. And whatever motions of transcendence there are outside coming to it are resisted by that rotating band. That rotating band is form and in so far as it is form, it is masculine. But in so far as internal to it, it has not accepted any further form, it is feminine.
Let’s consider a little what the Gurdjieff of his day once said, William Blake the English poet. He said that reason is the perimeter or limit of will energy, meaning to say that when you initiate a will at a centre, there’s a certain amount of energy put into it and that energy then goes to a certain distance and stops because it cannot go further, through lack of energy. And when it reaches that limiting factor it has a perimeter and that perimeter constitutes the formal limitation of that being. That formal limitation is the same as the reason of that being. The reason is the ratio of that being. And consequently if we equate idea with the male, we have to equate limitation with the male.
Now this limitation, viewed from outside, is existence itself and constitutes a positive existence. It is a power sitting there, ‘po-sitted’. The circumscribing limit, considered as male, is a form gained, but considered as an inertic force going round and round and excluding other forces, it is a negating factor on the possibility of infinite understanding.
Now if we put more energy into this rotation – we’ll indicate this by drawing the circle blacker and let the degree of blackness represent the amount of force involved in it – then the more force we involve in it, the more established that form becomes, and the more established it becomes as form, the more masculinised it is and at the same time the more resistant it is to other forces. And consequently if we put in a terrific lot of energy we might so fill in this space that we could establish in here inertia filling up the whole sphere of being, except for the tiny point where the rotation cannot go, because if it were to try to do so it would become static. And then we have a spherical mass of inertic energy which is formed, and considered as formed is masculine, and considered as fully charged with form is opaque to any further formative forces from outside.
Now when this occurs we have the equivalent of a male mind which is so full of ideas that it hasn’t got room for any more. And this can happen, this is the kind of mind that we’d find in a person who had been trained with Aristotelian logic and who had integrated together certain ideas built on ‘A’ and ‘not A’ and the excluded middle, and had so formulated his thinking machine, his brain, that it had in fact become opaque. He would then be masculine, that is totally resistant to any further influence, and yet in the process of becoming so, he would have become insensitive to the environmental situation.
Now if we use the sign of Venus to represent the female as we do in biology, and the sign of Mars to represent the male, the sign of Venus signifies the passive and receptive aspect of substance. So that if we imagine a sphere surcharged with energies, all formally rotating, therefore male as form, but in the act of rotating becoming inertic and therefore resistant, we would have to say we cannot apply the sign Venus to it, because it has no power of absorption of further form. But if it’s got no power of absorption of further form, it also deserves another word appending to it, we must say that it is ‘dead’, because by ‘dead’ we mean that the thing is cut off, divided from whatever else there is of reality.
So if we formulate internally and block the being with form, although it has actually become masculinised in the process of being formed, when the form blocks the being completely and it becomes opaque to any further stimuli, that being is not only a man, it is a dead man. And this kind of thing can happen, you can progressively ‘kill’ yourself by formulating non paradoxically. If you formulate paradoxically, you’re bound to leave absorption power inside yourself because you continuously see that what you have said admits the equal and opposite statement which balances it out.
When we take Mars as a sign of the male, the arrow shooting out of the circle signifies that energy which must come out because further energies cannot be taken in without a leakage. So we see that in the case of Venus we use the circle which means circumscription, and we use a cross which means body fixation. The circumscription at the top, the circle, signifies by its emptiness the passive, receptive aspect of substance. The cross below signifies its existence and fixity as a body. In the sign of Mars we take the circle and to view it a little more solidly, we shade the circle in to signify the substantial surcharging of it, its tumescence, and the arrow flying out is now the energy that must come out if you try to put more into it. We can then see that all male/femaleness, all polarity, is relative.
If we look at the infinite energies that exist and then take any circle, any finited zone, we can see that no matter how big that circle is, it cannot absorb infinite energies, it can only absorb finite energies and when it has absorbed those finite energies, then it becomes blocked. It is now masculinised. At that level it thinks it knows what it is talking about. But there are still infinite considerations that it knows nothing about and if it wants to know more about those, it will have to transcend its apparent masculinity and re-become a woman. It must in fact open itself and let in further forces, if it is to transcend its level.
Now, when we’re talking about the superior acceleration of woman, we’re really saying that if you haven’t got form inside you of a very inertic order, then you can take in a lot of form very quickly. But you’ll find that if you come up against a formulated man trained in a non paradoxical way, you will find him singularly lacking in adaptability. In fact the very thing that he’s fond of, his idea content, is a blocker, and stops his further development, so that as his formal content increases, so his accessibility to the infinite form outside decreases. So in this sense there’s a real disadvantage in being formed at all, which when we come to consider the nature of immediacy we’ll understand better.
So this little question we will reply to by saying, a woman can accelerate in the acquisition of form in general more quickly than a man because she’s got less of it, and a man tends to accelerate slowly, if at all, because he’s already got a large amount of form and if he’s got sufficient to think that he knows what he’s talking about, if he’s not careful he will think that he knows it all and his mind will then become opaque and he will be inaccessible to further statements. I think most people have met the kind of man that we’re talking about, who in fact cannot accept anything from outside because he’s already anticipated it.
Now there is one large religious body who don’t brainwash, they actually inform the faithful in such a manner that it is virtually impossible to insert any idea into the mind that does not fit their existing training structure. This kind of organisation has in effect ‘killed’ large numbers of people. Large numbers of men - I know many of this order myself – have been so formulated by a very, very carefully devised education that their minds are completely opaque to anything other than the logical structure imparted to them by their educators.
Now although they are masculinised in this sense that they are formed they are also ‘dead’ and they are the people that Christ referred to as ‘dead’ and they have great possessions. You remember when the young man came to Christ and said, what must I do to enter the Kingdom? He says, get rid of everything you’ve got. Well that man was very very sad because he had great possessions. Now it doesn’t matter if you’ve got great possessions externally, grossly, materially, because those cannot themselves impose on you inertias, but if you conceptualise yourself as possessing them and in the process of conceptualising yourself, relate yourself to those possessions, so that the whole of your activity is conditioned by those possessions, then you are a man with great possessions on the inside, and you cannot then enter the Kingdom that Christ is talking about. Because that Kingdom is free, spirit, free initiative and this richness of internal form is inertia, anti-initiative.
So we’ve answered the first part of the question by saying the empty, the already empty, can accelerate quickly, more quickly than the full. And this is why a book like the Tao Te Ching spends a large amount of its space recommending emptiness, and it is not recommending emptiness as an end in itself, a vacuity which would be useless, it’s recommending not emptiness, but emptying oneself, that is getting rid of the idea that we are full. If you think that you know everything up to your skin limit, then expand your skin. And in any case, find space inside yourself because there is an infinity of space outside. Now the next question was about self development.
Is not self development more important than child making,
as the child may be blown up?
That could mean either the child will disintegrate through the large amount of brilliant form put into it by the father, or it could mean that there’s a war impending and we haven’t enough time to breed any messiahs before the bomb drops. But if we look at it in this way, it is the duty of a human being to understand itself. And last week we talked about the four aspects. A human being is a sphinx. There’s a sphinx – I won’t draw it too well or it won’t frighten us – that’ll do for a sphinx. Now it has the wings of an eagle, it has the body partly of a bull and partly of a lion, and a man’s head. These are the four beasts of the apocalypse and the four symbols of the gospels, put together in one being. This being is, as to his intellect an eagle, as to his heart - if he has any courage - a lion, as to the power of reproduction in the belly, he is a bull – the bull is a symbol of fertility – but it is a man who has these three parts.
So somehow we’ve got to understand these four aspects of ourselves and bring them into consciousness so that we can manipulate them properly and if any beings try to develop themselves in this sense, understand themselves more and more, it follows that they will be better equipped to breed children and to educate them when they’ve got them. So that the question of whether it is better to develop oneself or to aim at breeding good children is really not separable. If you are aiming to breed good children, you will have to develop yourself. If you develop yourself, it follows you will be better equipped, if the occasion arises, to produce better children and to educate them in the right way. I think that will do for a short answer for that one. Another question is:
Are the sexes coming together at this time
and the stress on men and women tending to cross over?
Now the sexes coming together I presume in this question, does not mean are the sexes coming together but are they tending to appear more balanced round the middle.
We said we would use water/earth for the female aspect – water is plasticity, earth is the inertia – and air/form/fire initiative energy for the male. Now this question is, is it at this time that male and female are tending to pass over into each other. And we can say Yes, and it always was. It is not peculiar to this time that there’s a large homosexual problem. It is not peculiar to this time that large numbers of women show secondary male characteristics, that 42 per cent of men show secondary female characteristics. It isn’t peculiar to this time. The ancient world had exactly the same problem and before the Renaissance they had the same problem and after it they had the same problem, and it just happens that in cycles it becomes publicised, but it is always so. And the important thing to realise is, it is not confined to the human being. This problem is found in the animal world, as in the human world, and it is found in the primate world.
If we consider the law of the inequality of finites, then no two finites can be equal in all respects, we can see immediately that we must have a sliding scale of masculine/feminine stress running throughout the whole of creation and as we’ve said polarity is not absolute, it is relative, then any being may be male or female to another being, whilst at the same time being female or male to some other being. So we must repeat that every being is polarised in itself. In so far as it is limited, it is formed, and as form it is masculine. But exactly that same form as inertia is earth, feminine. In so far as that form is not so hard that it can stop entrance of further forms, it is plastic and therefore feminine, but in so far as it can stop entrance and it can stop some stimuli entering, it is masculine.
So we have the fact it is initiative energy that initiates the first circumscription and that is male. What it initiates is formal closure and that is male, but when it has closed itself by that initiative act it has made a being which is, relative to some order of stimuli male, able to resist it, and relative to some other high penetration rays, it is female, and it is inertic.
So every being is substantially fourfold and these things cannot be separated out except in illegitimate abstract thought. I say illegitimate in the sense that if we were to consider that we had really separated these things out, when we consider them in separativity, we would be in error. We consider the inertia of being, the fact that my body stays on the chair where I put it and doesn’t float round the room, we consider the fact that it has a definite form and that’s already male/female, the fact that I can wave the chalk about, that’s an initiative act, and the fact that it is the form of the hand and body that enables me to wave it about, and that at the same time there’s a certain amount of inertia when I wave it, it tends to carry on in the direction that I waved it, so I’ll need more initiative energy to pull it back.
So there’s a continuous interplay of all the different aspects and these aspects are in no sense concretely separable. Once this is understood properly there can’t be any further problem about whether woman or man is better than man or woman. The being that we find stressed in the manner we call female, the one that beareth the child in fact, is simply willing to bear the child and all that goes with it. It isn’t so much the initial act, it’s the implications of it that constitute the complicating factors.
When force from infinity comes in and makes for itself a zone of activity, it has created, that is arc-ed, that is circumscribed, a zone and marked off a certain amount of the spirit of infinity and thus finited it and in the fact of tying it up has made it into a soul. And that soul is sentient, and considered without the form in it, is an appetite. It is an appetite to form. In so far as any ripple inside it, which is form, is felt as pleasurable, the sentient substance tries to hold it in being. The part that is trying to hold it in being is the appetite to form. As appetite it is female, as form it is male. But it is not other than the spirit from transcendence which has by circumscription made itself immanent, which is doing this operation.
We mustn’t be dualistic. There is no other than the spirit causing all this activity, establishing a closure and thus creating a soul. Vibrating within that soul and the form of the vibration is called the spirit of the soul, and the delight and inclination towards that form is female, is an appetite for form, the form in it is male and satisfies that appetite. This is true of every being that exists.
Now any being, when it first comes into being, comes into being as a simple circumscription and therefore is to be considered because of its beginning as a form, because it’s beginning, the ‘B’ of beginning, a form circumscribed and therefore masculine, because now that circumscription is going to cause reverberations within it and condition all the force inside the circle and ultimately force it into order. Before it is ordered it is female, so that every being that comes to exist is initially female, that is initially the form hasn’t gained the victory over the passive aspect of that force.
But progressively as it going round the reverberations inside it are seen as in an internal mirror – imagine a sphere if you like which is silvered in such a way that if you were inside it, you could see reflected all round yourself, yourself – it’d do a funny thing with your face actually – that’s why souls are so funny on the inside – but this process of looking to the limit on the inside would be the process of self awareness. And so far as that self awareness is felt, it is female. In so far as it perceives formal ripples within it, it is male.
When it looks inside itself, simply because it never was static, because it is made out of infinite spirit, which is essentially dynamic, therefore when it looks inside itself it sees the pattern of all that it may become. But this pattern is perfectly equilibrated. This is the Sophic Sphere of the macrocosmos and of the microcosmos and the individual. The Sophic Sphere is the sphere, the total form of a being which is the wisdom of that being and which, prior to the disturbance of its equilibrium by an external stimulus, is in perfect balance and consequently no form is more important than another form.
Thus, we’ll take the child as near back as we can get it to its existence, take it out of fertilisation in the egg and it is already wise, it has wisdōm, we should aspirate the ‘wis’ slightly and see that it is really an anagram of the name of Jesus again. The literal analysis of these will tell you exactly what it means and the circumscription is the dome. So the wisdōm is really the simple doming of that initiating spirit of the field which separates itself within itself and thus develops.
Now when an external stimulus comes, that stimulus has a certain character and the character of that stimulus causes a resonance within the wisdom sphere, such that certain forms in the wisdom resonate more than others and are thus selected by the incoming stimulus. Now that incoming stimulus therefore causes to appear in the wisdom, knowledge - knowledge being a superstress which separates from the background by over-vibration some formal element of the wisdom. So we distinguish between knowledge and wisdom by saying that wisdom is the total formal content of a soul and knowledge is any formal portion of that, superstressed in such a way that it stands out from the rest of it. In other words you’ve disturbed the primal sophic equilibrium.
Now in so far as that sophic sphere which is a soul can be disturbed by a stimulus, it is female to the stimulus. We can easily see that that stimulus must have come from somewhere and it’s like the arrow on the sign of Mars again. When it knocks and produces a reverberation in the sophic sphere, the soul, and there arises because of the quality of the knock a special isolation of certain formal elements, then the fact that those things do arise inside shows that this soul was female to that stimulus.
Now in all the great religions it says quite simply, all souls are female to God. Which is a very simple way of saying if God is represented by the infinite spirit, and that infinite spirit cannot be excluded from anywhere because it is actually the white paper which is running underneath all the drawings that we do, therefore there cannot exist a being which is not in fact conditioned by this infinite initiative spirit. And therefore in so far as all these are conditioned by that infinite spirit, they are female.
So there are no pure males in the universe. It can only be a matter of degree because all finites whatever are brought to be by infinity and are subjected to the motions of infinity throughout the whole of their existence and ultimately it is infinite forces which, having brought them to be, take them to bits again and return them back into the original state of equilibrium - a point that we will consider again later in relation to another idea. Now the next question says:
Does woman have double the work of man to do?
meaning, of course, in the process of gaining formal integration. And the answer of course, mathematically, is Yes, of course she does. If we say we divide the circle in half and in one half we write woman and in the other half we write man for a moment, then the mere fact that we’ve polarised them means that they’re in a relation where they are a primary unity cut in half, and therefore if we say there is no form down below and all the form above, if there is a pure male, then the woman will have to do twice as much work as he will have to do in order to become like him, because she will have to overcome all her formlessness and do all the work that he did in order to become what he is.
And of course paradoxically when she’s done all the work that he’s done, she’s not done twice the work at all, she’s only done the same amount. In fact of course if we said a definite amount of work has got to be done, ‘X’ work, then in passing from pure passivity to pure activity a definite number of steps of development must be gone through - which is why Nietzsche said, don’t miss the steps they will never forgive you – and whether you’re a woman or a man you will have to go through exactly the same number of steps.
What we mean in general by a man, we’ll say a man who’s got 51 per cent of the shares [of] form in his body, an average man, is that 51 per cent of the work has been done. But a large number of women today are somewhere about 40 per cent male. And consequently she hasn’t got a lot of work to do to catch up with the kind of masculinity that she meets in day to day life. In other words there isn’t a great gap between, with woman down below being perfectly formless and man at the top shining brilliantly his wonderful logical light. This kind of thing just doesn’t exist.
The mere fact that a woman can be recognised at all and distinguished from an amoeba argues that she’s already got a large amount of form in her. And if she can talk - and I know of very very few who can’t - then her power of articulation is further evidence of masculinisation. And if we remember that the form that she can talk is the product of previous stimulation from males, relative males, then she’s already been progressively masculinised through talking to intelligent people.
Now we can see that a being who considers herself, we’ll say, a woman, and who may have so much, we’ll say two thirds female, passivity and inertia and one third formal knowledge, may come up against a man from another environment who may have in his environment an idea, one idea perhaps, one per cent of himself is male, and he might have been living in a community where the beings had only half of one per cent, and consequently he would have been a man relative to the beings with whom he lived, but on leaving that environment and going to another environment, although he had actually made the grade into masculinity, it would be found that he was nearly feminine compared with this other woman.
I know a few women, some Burmese women, who are so female compared with a modern English woman, that a modern English woman cannot imagine how she manages to exist at all. A woman whose whole culture for thousands of years has stressed her on the female side, so much so that she doesn’t even feel that she ought to think, let alone think that she ought to think - she doesn’t feel she ought to think - she’s so nearly pure woman that if she were to take off what little bit of form that she’s got she would lapse back into the level of an amoeba. This of course isn’t very very likely because it would be abandoning power.
But we must remember this relativity of masculinisation. And a city dwelling woman, an occidental woman, city dwelling, would be relatively in the mind and therefore in the initiative, male compared with many females from other cultures. Also there are in the Americas some tribes where the men actually lactate and feed the babies themselves. This is a physical fact and when that sort of thing occurs it makes you realise that this whole question of sexual polarity must be considered as relative.
So we’ll say that women do not have to do double the work of men, they have to do exactly the same amount of work and you cannot tell unless you make a very very careful analysis just who is and who is not a woman or a man, relative to another one. So you have to just take it from moment to moment as you meet up with the individuals and decide in relation to each one whether you are a man or a woman. That’s the end of that query I think.
Does the initial spirit absorb a character? Dependent on the time life of the form, does the Absolute absorb the initial spirit as a separate entity?
This raises Buddhistic and Christian questions lapped over together. Consider the paper represents this absolute spirit. If we don’t draw on the paper at all, we are talking about non create spirit, spirit - and we can’t even say - prior to creation, because the ‘pr’ in prior implies already a rational process. Here’s where we discover that the language of a given people is philosophically circumscribed. We actually haven’t got a word to signify in any occidental language this idea that means prior, before, without symbolising form, because of a simple fact. If we take the concepts of the ancients about the source of things, there were two views and one was that the source of all things was eternity and the other was the source of all things was infinite time. And there was a great battle between these two concepts and it looked for a time as if the time concept was going to win. But then the time concept was overthrown. Now let’s have a look at it.
Prior to drawing anything whatever we have the pure white paper and white is the equilibration of all the colours of the spectrum and signalises the perfect balance and that balance we must now express without using words that signify form. So we cannot say, that which preceded, because ‘pre’ in precede means rational going and implies already formulation. So we will have to do it another way. We will have to say, let all form be represented by a circle, draw a very big circle on an infinite sheet of paper and let that represent the totality of all form, remember that it is drawn on the paper, postulate that the paper drew this form itself, because this paper represents power, and then rub the circle out.
Now once you’ve rubbed the circle out, the paper is all that there is, except ‘is’ is not the right word for it. Because ‘is’ implies a point with the spirit issuing through it and we’re talking about infinity. And you see the paucity of concepts we’re dealing with and why we have to use terms like non duality instead of monism, to explain certain metaphysical concepts. This paper itself here represents that spirit Absolute, which means absolute, with all form washed away from it and this washing away is an act that we are doing conceptually and abstractly and therefore ultimately illegitimately. It is a convenience for us to pretend that there is no form in the paper. Factually this piece of paper already exists but it symbolises for us that which does not exist, that spirit which by forming itself produced the universe.
Now that infinite piece of paper represents the infinite spirit but there is not other than it, so that whatever there is, must be considered to be produced by it, of it, in it. And when we say ‘pro’-duced, we’re saying ‘pi-ro’-duced again, you see. The ‘duce’ means lead of course and implies a division, a cutting, a separation and a choosing – so to produce is already to rotate. So somewhere on this infinite piece of paper we draw a big circle. Doesn’t matter where, because that circle is going to represent the totality of all circles whatever.
Now the fact that we can conceive it to be drawn is simply evidence that we have already been drawn by it, because if we scrub ourselves out, the formal limitations of our own being, our own ideation, then we will not be here to discuss. So really what we are doing when we’re considering drawing this circle is taking the factually existent circle circumscribing our own being and drawing it to save time simply as a circle instead of a wiggly thing like this, which is still a circumscription. So we’re really taking an existent concrete individual, abstracting from him his binding line, reducing it to the simple form of a circle and then positing it back on the paper which we have already decided is going to represent that which made that form. In other words, concretely, this Absolute is never to be considered without these forms, because these forms are dynamic play of the Absolute spirit.
Remember to take the concept of static, we will have to take two forces and lean them against each other. If you want to make a stable piece of architecture you have to arrange the stresses and strains within it, so that they oppose each other and cannot move. So our idea of static from the root ‘sta’, stand, implies this establishment, this fixation, the spirit fixed. This fixation implies opposition, so that the opposition of forces against each other like that is our concept of the static. And consequently our concept of the static can only apply to finites, because we can only oppose finite forces. So we cannot apply the concept of the static to the Absolute, which is infinite. We have to try to get hold of this, because out of it comes the answer to the rest of the questions here.
We now have what we will call the Absolute pre analytic spirit, that is to say it is that which if we were a little more careless in thinking we would call the absolute concrete reality, but concrete means grown together and this is not grown together because it was never apart. The seamless garment of Christ is not a garment made with separate threads added together, it is seamless, seedless – the seam in a seam when you sew is a seed, because when you put together two pieces of cloth and you put the thread through, over, under, over, under, and you look at it from one side you see a little stitch, making a little seed shape and therefore you call it a seed – so it seems.
All the world is seaming in so far as it is formed and it is because it is seaming that we say it is merely appearance. But all this seaming is of this Absolute and the Absolute itself represented by the paper is not seamed and is therefore called seamless. And yet this seamless power, this non analytic, non concrete, pre analytic, seamless power is that signified by the white paper, which by its own dynamism produces in its complexities in its foldings of itself all the formal expressions that we call the existent universe.
Now all these forms are going on inside it eternally. There is no possibility whatever of any form ever coming into existence, except that form already eternally exists. We cannot apply the term static to the Absolute and therefore the Absolute is pure dynamism. This pure dynamism contains in its absolute motion and the inter-relations of this multi-directional motion all forms whatever and they’re in a perfect equilibrium mutually interpenetrating and yet perfectly defined, each one being uniquely itself and yet the whole thing held in a seamless power.
So if we like to look at this paper now with all the drawings upon it and consider that each circle we’ve drawn represents no more than a tremulation of a seamless Absolute, then the limiting factor is simply the zone of tremulation. Wherever there is a tremulation or a vibration or an apparent rotation in a zone, then we say there is a form. But there never was an eternity when these did not exist. It is usual to say there was never a time when they didn’t exist but in actual fact there are plenty of times when they do not exist, just like there is a time now when William the Conqueror doesn’t exist, he being one of the complexities. But William the Conqueror was in eternity, is now in eternity and was superstressed in the eternity, and the superstress represented his temporal appearance.
Now this is the whole secret behind the proper understanding of incarnation, reincarnation, resurrection, ascension and so on. Whenever we put a superstress on an infinite form, on an eternal form, we cause it to come out of equilibrium, out of eternity, out of heaven – heaven means equilibration of power, out of paradise – paradise means beyond division, out of Eden – beyond judgement, and so on, we cause it by superstressing to fall relatively out of its context. This mean that every individual human being, in so far as he becomes evidenced – seen outwardly, e-vi-denced, in so far as he becomes seen outwardly and comes into the contingent world, he’s already superstressed. But what has been superstressed is an eternal, unique being.
Now what happens at the death of the form of man. Does the complicated spirit return to the transcendent to become form again. Now the transcendent Absolute has eternally within itself all beings. We, as existent beings, by the fact of our existence, evidence superstress. That superstress has brought us out from the background of the eternal, equilibrated wisdom and made us stand out – the purpose of this standing out we’ll examine later. It brings us out and in the process, each one of us becomes aware of what it is in a way that it could not do if it never left the wisdom equilibrium of the Absolute. So in the Absolute wisdom equilibrium, although all beings are unique they do not know their uniqueness in a separate manner, and it is this separateness that is the cause of what we call value, and is the ground of God’s creation of the world, and the ground of his statement that he loved the world sufficiently to create it and to pay his son, his intelligence, his cosmic logos, into it to save it.
The moment that this disequilibrium occurs there is a superstress, then for the superstress part a fall has occurred. But that fall - and that’s f/p, f-all, p-all, pall - that fall into superstressing is a pall or covering on the eternal relation and the moment of superstress is the generation of time for that individual. Remember time means emission of energy and there is no emission, out-sending of energy, other than that caused by a superstress. So the superstress on the individual is the same thing as the precipitation of the individual from eternity into time.
Now where does it go to at the death of the body? The answer is the superstress is taken off. It then lapses back relatively but not identically into the Absolute equilibrium from which it derived, plus a memory which is the differentiating factor, so that it is now aware that although it is a member of the seamless garment, a member of the body of God, it is nevertheless uniquely itself, and then the motions initiated in that place are individuated motions which can then make an individual contribution, an individual stress, and so on, and cause the raising of the level of values within this field.
Now we’re on the level of a possible heresy here, because if we suggest for a moment that anything whatever can increase the perfection of the Absolute, we fall into heresy, and to avoid that all we have to do is just remind ourselves that we’ve been talking abstractly. All these values are in and of the Absolute and the Absolute is a seamless, pre-analytic whole and therefore what we have said of it about the emergence of values in the individual, is not other than the value of the Absolute in, for and of itself.
Does the initial spirit absorb a character dependent upon the time life of the form?
We’ve actually answered that one in saying that it does retain a memory of the superstresses which brought it out of the eternal equilibrium in to the temporal serial stress life. And it retains a memory of that and thus constitutes in itself a centre of reflexive self consciousness. And this is the meaning of the eternal praising of the God, of the Absolute by saved spirits. When we are actually superstressed, we begin to suffer in a way that we did not suffer before. When we were in perfect equilibrium in eternity we were not in any sense sub facere because we were not separated out, so that we were perfectly plastic and at the same time letting everything run into us, we let it run out of us again, so that we never became blocked. We were transparent infinitely, so that we did not suffer.
But the moment we get a superstress on us we become relatively opaque. And at the moment we become opaque we become exposed to the possibility of stimulus from certain energies from other centres of opacity. And then we see immediately that as soon as the superstress is on us, we are groaning and travailing to be delivered from vanity. That is to say, we know very well that the superstressed state is a terrible state, because every man is for himself at the superstressed level and there is no possible rest for us as long as we’re superstressed. If we can take off that superstress and re-find that eternal equilibrium, we shall consider ourselves saved, salvated or washed free of the individuating superstress factors. Baptism symbolises in fact the re-immersion in the infinite ocean of the seamless Absolute.
Does the Absolute absorb the initial spirit as a separate entity?
We’ve seen but we’ll really restate it. In Buddhism this idea, that if you get into Nirvana, which is a state of bliss correspondent with the Absolute motion, then for many Buddhist schools you cease to exist as an individual. But a lot of confusion has arisen about it through successive failures to define adequately the terms used. What Gautama did was refuse to answer certain questions that were put to him by his disciples. He said if they said, do I exist or not exist after death, he would say that question is not edifying - meaning it won’t build you up. But at the same time, although he said he was a man who hadn’t got a closed fist and he kept back no secrets, that did not mean to say that he told unsuitable formal knowledge prematurely to undeveloped people.
There are other stories about him that he himself penetrated into that level of Absolute equilibrium, which he called Nirvana, and yet while he was doing so he still existed in the finite time process as an individual. But when at about 80 years old his physical body was worn down, then he was quite happy to let go of it because the body had subserved its purpose and he was going to lapse back into the Absolute equilibrium. Now after his death the problem was immediately raised, does that Gautama who taught us have any existence where he has gone or not. If it is thought that the dew drop falling into the sea becomes a part of the sea in such a way that it could never be separated out again, then there is no Gautama, and it is no use praying to him.
But there was a very very great need in masses of people to be helped, because although he had walked about for 60 odd years teaching, that was only 60 odd years and there were millions of people whom he never met, in the same way there were millions of people whom Christ never met. Now they all had a need, and the voice of the people is the voice of God. Very intelligent fellows in southern Buddhism said, we don’t need him, he’s disappeared, he’s part of the ocean, he doesn’t exist, and we are clever, we will save ourselves in like manner. This is the southern school of Buddhism. And so they began to save themselves, and in the process they became very very arrogant and they didn’t bother to help anybody at all whom they considered beneath their notice.
But nevertheless millions of people cried out for assistance and if every man should save only himself, there was going to be nil assistance. But something in people demands that there must be assistance, because if there isn’t any they are lost. Now the philosophers who considered themselves very, very clever, say as in the Greek stoics for instance who thought they knew it all, they said, the people are no good, they do not think rationally, they are sentimental. And you will find in modern books of philosophy this same kind of division that philosophy, by the meaning of the ‘phi’ in philosophy, symbolises rational thought about being and that what is not rational is not philosophy. So for the philosopher all beings who do not rationalise are inferior and he classes them all together as irrationals. And says, well they’re just sentimental.
In so doing he committed an illegitimate abstraction. He took out his form, his reason, which was simply the limit of his individual power, as we saw before, and defined this as the reason for being and the reason of the universe, which it was. But he then made the illegitimate statement that it was the sum total of reality, and then defined reality so that he was right. Now if he’d defined reality by the letter ‘R’ only, he would have been right. But the ‘L’ in it refers to sentiment, because the ‘L’ in ‘real’ signifies the seamless garment and when we are feeling instead of rationalising, we are one with that seamless being.
So in fact the crying out of millions of people for help from feeling was quite valid. And this feeling was a deep awareness in them that there was a non rational unity, something beyond reason, either above it or below it, but definitely not it, which was not severed from the Absolute. And to this they prayed, and they prayed for help. Now feeling always seeks an object. Now feeling is feminine, so the people were feminine when the stoic logicians were being masculine - and notice that stoic apathy is the same thing as the opaque hardness that we talked about before. The people were feeling that they needed help, so they were feeling in fact like Venus, empty and requiring a stimulus.
But when they felt in that way, because they are part of the seamless Absolute, they opened themselves to it and then a stimulus came in and a non rational thing occurred in them which they called a product of faith. And the result was there began to appear in the non rational parts of the human race a tremendous solidarity, the poor and the sentimental began to unify and the rational, the governmental, the imperialistic and so on saw this thing going on and were very upset by it and tried to stop it. Because to them it was non rational and it was non rational to the people who were doing it too, and it should be non rational because it is to the experience of the seamless.
But because that feeling requires an object, therefore it tends to orientate itself towards an object. And the moment the governments of the world - we’ll take as typical the Roman world - saw this sentiment, this feeling for an object in the people, then they very quickly began to set up objects for the people to orientate towards, and they multiplied the gods and they borrowed gods from all over the world, and they set them up so that people would orientate round them, and thus the State would not totter. Now remember the State is the same as form, and again like the empire, the form is the limit of the will capacity to change.
So the people then were given objects, but the objects that they were given were finite and therefore could not give them infinite satisfaction, and therefore the people found that these objects were not efficacious, they didn’t work. So their feeling came up again in a big cycle and they demanded some other objects. Now from that, during the last 2000 years there have been attempts by governments to set up objects to orientate the feeling of the people. The biggest object we’ve got in the world today is probably the concept of the welfare state, which is spreading out. The idea that there is a superform that can control the world, supply man’s material needs and through satisfying his material needs, keep his mind at peace and then treat him merely as a physical and mental being. And by so doing they can circumscribe him within the world State.
But that is the enemy. That is the Leviathan and that is the whale that was swallowing Jonah and that is the Beast of the revelations, and so on. That is the thing that Christ is absolutely against, the finiting of spirit, no matter how big the circumscription, the holding within that defined system, of beings that essentially belong in infinity, but have their own places in infinity and have been superstressed into the time process, for experiential reasons.
We can see then a great fight going on between powers of eternity and powers of time. The time powers are always circumscribing – time is a rotation system – and they’re always trying to establish and constrict all the subrotations, or individual beings, within and they are trying to stop those beings transcending the position at which they then stand. So that we have a zeitgeist, a spirit of the time, we have a 19th century mood when atomism is the rule and scientists know all about everything, everything is matter, everything is gross material particles, there isn’t anything other than gross matter and the world is a fortuitous play of atomic particles, and man is a machine. This was the zeitgeist of the 19th century. In the 20th century the thing is exploded and we have another, but it is still a circumscribed view. Now the suggestion is that the real priests are the scientists, that the men who know really what’s for your good are the men that make atom bombs, and men that make X Rays and the big chemical combines that make Penicillin and other wonder drugs. All of these are going to be squirted into you and then you will constitute a good social entity.
Now this is part of the time process. If you accept it, you have taken the mark of time, you will branded in the forehead and on the hand because you will be thinking with your forehead brand according to time processes, and with your hand you will be working towards temporal ends. Therefore in the Revelation this reference to the mark in the forehead and on the hand. If your thought process is conditioned by, determined by and orientated towards temporal rewards only, then in fact you are a subject of the Beast, and Cronos Saturn is devouring you. And he will successfully chew you up to bits, because you will be orientated into the gross physical body and that has its turn, and must fall to bits, and when you, deprived of your object against your will, face the fact of temporal death, having thrown away the concept of your eternality, you will have nothing.
Now we know that the propagandists of the State, of which we can say most efficient today are the Marxists, that they teach a dialectical process actually borrowed from the first dialectician of spirit Heraclitus through Hegel, they’ve taken this concept of the dialectics of spirit, inverted it and made it into a dialectics of matter, and by means of this they have tried to take away the weapon of eternity, and turn it into the supreme weapon of time, and then pretend to human beings that there is no other god but evolving time. Now this is called the big lie. And it is called the old serpent, because the time process is helical.
All the spinning things that travel through space are worming their way through infinite space. And this whole process of helical progression, of worming forces through space, by the very nature of it, is having nothing to do with the space outside this progression, and therefore it is severing itself from the eternal seamlessness. Now by the very nature of it, as the thing evolves progressive with more and more form, through internal self stimulation, knowledge grows apace with successive moments of time, energy emissions, and the result is that after a certain number of revolutions of the time process, knowledge adds up to wisdom. And when that happens, then suddenly the time process is finished. Revelation says, there will be time no more. And instead there will be a becoming conscious again, a re-awakening to the eternal identity of all beings within this seamless whole.
We have the very very simple choice to make all the time. The one that we’re doing when we’re pursuing reflexive self consciousness, is bending back into eternity out of the time process. Every time you act from an external temporal stimulus you are under the dominion of the Beast, that is to say of the contingent relation of materiality, and you are acting immediately because your action is being dictated to you by immediate stimulus from another being. But if you withdraw from the external temporal stimulus, go into your own centre, because that rotation cannot go into the centre, in the centre of your being you are free from time and in that centre is your free initiative, and from that centre you can release energies from eternity into the time process.
Now the time process is inertic and bound up and if there is no insertion of spiritual energy into it, then it is death. But if you go into your centre and conjure that spirit from inside up and send it out, instead of relying on the external stimulus to dictate your action, in fact you are introducing from eternity new energies into the time process, and fighting the enemy, time.
Q. ‘Using energy from the centre then, you are automatically an enemy of the State?’
Yes. Yes. That’s why Christ spoke in parables. Every being is an enemy of the State, the static, as soon as you become a dynamic. In the film that they banned in Manchester recently the two councillors who represented the council in this decision, they said to me privately that they had not expressed their private opinion but only their official opinion. In other words there were two beings there, one an official being which dare not say anything except, as one of them said, what the police will allow me to say, and the other thing inside that was actually enjoying the thing that the other part was condemning. Now that’s two people.
Now Christ said, if you are at war with yourself in that way, how can your house stand. If you are to get absolute seamlessness, a non analytic, non synthetic whole, then you must become one with yourself. You can’t afford to fight with yourself. You can’t afford to have temporal expediency which has destroyed more churches than any other single disease, and at the same time eternal values. We know that the established church, the church established by the State, in so far as the State supports it, is the left arm of the Beast, and it is called the Whore sitting on many waters in the Revelation, because it prostitutes itself. It knows a fact. A great church leader who knows that spirit is eternal, knows that the Bible says His worship is perfect freedom and knows that the State cannot allow perfect freedom if it is to maintain itself as a material entity, that man is at war with himself.
‘This man that has refused to allow the State to dictate what he thinks and what he does, has put a further stress on himself, hasn’t he? Apart from his existential stress, he’s putting a further, more stress on himself really, isn’t he?’
He’ll have to. You have to. This is the whole point of prodigality.
‘This is the backward flow of course.’
It’s the backward flow. It appears that you’re putting on much more energy because you are. Remember, spirit is the highest frequency and the most powerful force there is, whereas gross material is very low level, long wave, low frequency stuff, inertic. The victory is bound to go ultimately to spirit because spirit has the power. But that same eternity has released this worm for a time, times and half time, in order to fulfil this separation-out of consciousnesses in the Absolute equilibrium, not to increase abstractly the perfection of the Absolute, because that is impossible, but to confer a benefit upon the individuals within the Absolute who do not know of that perfection consciously until they have been precipitated into the time process and then rescued from it again.
[audio tape transcription by Caroline Wakefield Freestone 2006]