[Transcribed by Caroline Freestone]
First of all, when we’re talking about a myth, we’re talking about a special kind of word. You know, a myth isn’t a reason for something, it is not a logical statement.
[Eugene illustrates his talks using the reverse side of scrolls of wallpaper. Here he is working through a scroll in order to find a point at which he can begin to illustrate this talk.]
Khen Ratcliffe: We’re going the other way.
We’re going the other way….
Up? They must be up to mischief tonight.
Here’s the word. Let’s put one letter here to represent TH because it’s really an aspirated ‘t’ so ……. it’s a three letter word, a special kind of ‘t’ with a lisp on it and if we read it this way, and remember that ‘y’ sound is equivalent to ‘u’ with an ‘ee’ sound in it, it’s a bit like Tum. If we write Tum for myth, we can discuss just what a myth is.
In the head we have reasons, in the heart we have affections, in the Tum land we have strange uprisings of energy that come from certain seed forces down below. Those seed forces contain all the forms of the ancestors’ experience. So the mythos, which is one of the words for ‘word’, means that which arises from the ancestral experience.
We can write ‘mythos’ here, and ‘logos’ at the top. And we have two words here in Greek for ‘word’, one of them means ratio, rational word, and the other one, the mythos is the word from the tummy land, from the ancestors. Now it’s quite obvious that the word ‘time’ is involved here, and the root ‘mt’/‘tm’ is the same root, remember the Greeks used to write both ways, as a man ploughs, you could write that way and that way. And when you were writing along the line, when you came to the end you just wrote back along that line, and then along this line. And that was called ‘writing as one ploughs [boustrophedon]’. And therefore you’d write ‘mt’ there and here ‘mt’, and then when you took out a word from its context you wouldn’t know which way it was written. So that, whether you wrote ‘tm’ or ‘mt’, you would have to translate it into its literal value, before you could deal with it.
Now the ‘m’ means substance, in Latin that termination with the ‘um’ at the end, is used for substance, and the same in the Greek. And the ‘t’ is the form, cutting into the substance. The substance is like female, Mary, and this ‘t’ is like Thomas the male. So the ‘myth’ is the resultant of the processes of the substance and the form positor.
Whereas in the head we have reasons, in the seeds we have the fruits of the genealogical tree, the experience of the ancestors, coming up in the form, apparently of irrational stories. Now it’s very important to understand what we mean by irrational here.
If we make a statement logical we have to make a statement of exact equivalence. For instance, a basis in logic is A = A, and Not A = Not A. And between the A and Not A there is no middle. Those are the three basic laws of logic, the law of identity here, is the basic one and the law of contradiction, and the law of the excluded middle. A thing must either be A or Not A, and between being A, and Not being A, there is no middle. And those are the rules of the logical mind.
But the mythical mind says a thing can both be and not be, simultaneously. A being can be reasonable and not reasonable at the same time. We know that in fact this is so, because certain parts of us can behave rationally while other parts are behaving irrationally. So that if we say there is only one man there, then we could say that man is and is not rational, simultaneously — because he may be in a towering rage and at the same time reciting reasons why he should be in a rage. And the rage part is irrational and the reason parts are rational.
So in the land of mythology, the story doesn’t have to be logical in this Aristotelian sense. If we, say, take an apple as an example – here is an apple – if we get a knife and cut it – is it a cut apple? Or is it not an apple any more, is it just two halves of apple? If we get a table and cut the legs off, is it a table with short legs as we’ve cut it? Is it still a table when we cut the legs shorter still until they’re only one hundred thou’ of an inch high? Is it a table with very short legs? If we rub them down with sandpaper until they’re level with the other part, the top of the table, does it cease to be a table?
All this requires you to change the name when you change the function. If we cut the apple into a thousand bits and then ask ourselves, is it still an apple in a thousand bits? Or is it a thousand bits? It was an apple. Now according to logic, we must say at a certain point, it’s time to stop calling it an apple. If I get an apple and grate it to a fine grater, is it still an apple when it’s on the plate? Or is it called grated apple? And these things are very important for logic and all the disagreements in philosophy arise from failing to change the term when you change the function.
If we say we use the term apple only if it is not cut, then after we cut it in half it is no longer an apple. And consequently if we eat one of the parts we’re not eating an apple at all. So if we try to eat an apple logically, the first bite will destroy it. And after the first bite, the second one wouldn’t be apple. So in the logical sense we have to be very careful.
But in the mythical sense we could say it is an apple, when it is whole and when a worm has bitten a hole in it, and when the whole of the apple and the hole in the apple cause a difference of function. And we affirm all these and say, I have now eaten the apple and the apple is now in me, I have assimilated apple and therefore I am an apple being — this is mythical thought. In this way we are not tied down to this Aristotelian logic, with simple ‘A is A’.
Now in fact the whole universe is such a structure that if you tried to apply the simple Aristotelian logic to it, you get into continuous difficulties. Because one being may have many functions and therefore for every function it should have a name. We say of a being born from a human being, it is human. If it has a certain sexual stress we’ll call it a boy, if it has another one we’ll call it a girl. Sometimes beings are born which are stressed so much in both ways that you couldn’t legitimately call them either, so you have to call them both. And at that point the Aristotelian logic would fall down, because the human being is not either a man or a woman. It is both, with a stress on one or the other. And when you say this, you are finding a link factor between the logos and the mythos.
Now there are ways of thinking which are not crudely rational, like the Aristotelian logic is, and these ways of thinking which will be called by a mere Aristotelian logician irrational, are tremendously important because they allow us to put together things which ordinary logic would want to keep apart. Thus, in ordinary logic the science of biology and the science of chemistry are kept apart, but in life they are not kept apart, and consequently the merely logical mind is at a loss how to deal with what he would call borderline cases. And if we cut the universe into categories, the real beings that exist have a foot in more categories than one. Thus a man is an air breathing animal as well as being a rational being, and so on, and he may have so many feet in so many camps that your definition of him falls down at certain points.
Now in the picture you’ve just seen there is a mythical mode of presentation. There are certain animals there and there are certain human beings with animal heads and they represent certain ideas, which ideas are better expressed in the mythical mode than with the Aristotelian logic. But we are going to remind ourselves that all opposites are fundamentally identical, and therefore the myth is fundamentally logical, and all logic is mythical. We have to remember that in order to resolve this problem.
Now there’s a goddess here called the goddess of justice. Now her name is Ma’at1. And the root ‘ma’ – an ordinary philologist would say is the root ‘to measure’. Whence the word ‘man’ comes from. The ‘m’ is substance and the ‘a’ is the activity of that substance. Now by means of the activity of a substance we can count the substance. If the substance had no activity whatever, it would be unaccountable because when substance acts it weighs itself, and if we want to count we have to count the weighed, because they give us the natural measure.
Now the ‘t’ at the end here signifies the fixation, the establishment. So this concept of judgement is the concept of the fixing of the activities of substance. We can remember a diagram we’ve discussed once before of identification. If we can get a wave the crests of which are coincident with another wave, we can say the two waves are identical. That one isn’t, we’ll have to collect it a little [a reference to his drawing of waves on the white paper]. Where they are exactly coincident, we can say they are identical, we can say the ‘dent’ in identity means tooth, and each one of those teeth corresponds with another tooth, like those in the top jaw correspond with those of the lower jaw.
So when we are talking about identification we take a form in the mind and another form in the world, and if they correspond exactly, we can say the idea of the form corresponds with that form. The idea of being object in the material world corresponds with that object.
Now justice is here represented as a woman, that’s ‘ma’ and as a man, that is the fixation, the establishment [‘t’]. So that in the concept of Ma’at we have already something represented as a woman which is hermaphroditic. Namely it is a Will being, an appetite being and a form being. It has the will to judge and yet the judgement is essentially formal. We have to weigh. In weighing we have to count, we cannot count unless there is form. So this apparent goddess is really an androgyne, a male/female with a stress on the female. It is a will to form. If the form were to dominate over the will, then we would say it was a male hermaphrodite, but if the will dominates over the form we call it a female hermaphrodite.
And Ma’at is represented as Questis, and that ‘t’ already represents the principle of the bound. If we just hang on this being the scales on which we’re going to rest whatever we want to weigh, a gentleman’s heart and a feather here, then the letter ‘t’ already represents this principle of balance. If we put a hand on it we get the crux ansata and we have a portable scale.
Ma’at is the very principle of substantial activity measuring itself, and this, properly understood, means that you are your own executioner, as a mystic once said in a popular film. The statement made by that mystic, ‘I am my own executioner’ means that he knew that the substantial activities of his own being were responsible in their activities for the crucifixion of that being. Every time you open your mouth you put your foot in it, means every time you formulate you have to take the consequences of the formulation. So that this concept of justice really means that you are, with your own substance, activating yourself into a situation, and you will have to pay the price of your own activities of your own substance.
Now the most important part about this weighing of the soul is the fact that a feather is placed opposite to the heart of the man. The heart is the feeling centre, the very middle of your feeling, the part where you cannot deceive yourself. All de-ception implies a cutting from this centre. Deep down inside yourself, in the very middle of yourself, if you dare to look at it, you know your own motive. And that motive is called the heart, the heart of a man is his deepest motive.
Now in the Greek word for mind, phren, we have a word that meant to the Greeks the chest, the lungs and the heart, everything in the chest region, the diaphragm, because they said, what goes on in your head is mechanical because it is logical, what goes on down below is a prime urge, and only what goes on in between is your business, and it is in this middle part here where you say ‘yes’ and ‘no’, that your centre of judgement is. And so to them, judgement was very simply, I like it or I don’t like it. And it was in this region of the chest.
Now we are frequently told that judgement is in the head, but the kind of judgement that’s in the head is the judgement of elementary arithmetic. If I say ‘1 equals 1’ and call that a judgement, I am merely making a statement of equivalence. But if I now know ‘1 = 1 what’ then I immediately have an emotional attitude towards it. From the moment I prefer ‘1’ to be equal to ‘1’ or prefer it not to be, I am in the feeling department, and my heart then, my centre of feeling is most important.
Now when we come to balance things in a chemical balance, we have to put the chemical balance inside a special box so there’s no air movement, and mount it on special shock absorbing cushions and so on, so the lorries outside don’t tip the balance, and in a very, very fine chemical balance the sensitivity is very, very great. So much so, that an earthquake in far Japan can upset your measurements in England by tilting the scale. Now the idea of an exceptionally sensitive balance is represented in this picture by the use of the feather. There’s also a feather on the top in one of these pictures, to show that the bearing of that being is well oiled, that is, isn’t frictive, that the instrument of weighing is not going to interfere with the things to be judged. So it means impartiality, very fine, this. Now if it is to exist at all, it must press in some degree. And the thing to represent the least pressure here is a feather.
Now when the man is looking inside himself, at his deepest feelings to see what he likes and what he doesn’t like, if he looks very carelessly in a hurry, he may judge wrongly. He may see a sudden impulse and say, ‘I like that’, without examination, or ‘I dislike it’, without examination, and when he allows that he’s not using the feather. The ideal, symbolised in this feather opposition is, so to refine your feeling that you could actually feel the pressure of that feather if it were laid upon your heart. Supposing you put yourself down on the bed in the dark and a friend puts a feather on a piece of cotton over you and lets it down about one thousandth of an inch every half hour, and you have to be so sensitive that you know when that feather touches you. And that kind of sensitivity is signified by this feather/heart operation. If you haven’t got it, you will make mistakes.
Now we’ve said before that the letter Aleph signifies the highest vibration and the highest intelligence, the highest sensitivity. And immediately below it is the universal. That one is absolute sensitivity and immediately below it is the ‘He’ [pronounced hay] value of the universal sensitivity. If we want to become absolutely conscious we must become more and more sensitive in the feeling. It is no good trying to do it by being sensitive in the logical department only, because that is merely a matter of external formal equivalence.
Remember that when your eye registers a message — there’s an eye looking at a triangle, and that triangle goes in the back of the eye and meets another and carries a message, and it is engrammed on the brain, that picture of the triangle — if that triangle corresponds with the one outside exactly, that kind of equivalence is the one that we would call the equivalent of the rational mind, basing its conclusions on empirical data. And that itself is not very, very sensitive compared with the feeling centre properly educated.
You think, if I hold this thing up, if your eyes are not suffering from various disorders known to opticians, you will see one piece of chalk. If you see two, there is something the matter with your eyesight. There is one. Now if your eye is in proper condition, what you see there is one thing. But you only see the thing, you don’t feel it with your eyes. A light goes and hits you on the back of the eye and stimulates a certain portion of the sensitive portion of the eye and covers a certain amount of that retina with light stimulation, and then you derive from it an image. And when, by repeated checking with your finger running round the edge, you find it feels like you think it looks, and you say there is correspondence between the two.
But that kind of sensitivity is very, very crude compared with the kind we want, that’s right down here, that’s the kind called Qof. Above it we have Khaf, and then we have Het, and all these are different levels of sensitivity, and when you actually touch a thing with your finger like that, that is a coarse level.
When you look into your mind and see the image of the thing that has been reflected onto the eye, then that is in the Qof, intellective sensitivity. When you feel the will to power in yourself as an individual, that is Het. And when you feel the universal value of it, and that is the ‘He’ value, and when you feel the absolute value of it, you have transcended all the other levels and you’ve gone beyond even the universal level of sensitivity. In order to do so, you have to become sensitive to a feather. And I mean this even physically.
Obviously if you can’t make yourself sensitive to the weight of a feather on your hand, you will not be able to make yourself sensitive to the beat in the atmosphere when some person in the room has got a jitter in the solar plexus. When somebody’s feeling really jittery, if you are very sensitive and you sit next to them — that’s for beginners — you will feel yourself getting on edge, and that is sensitivity towards the condition of that man, who is himself disturbed, and the energy field of his body is vibrating and if you feel very carefully, you will discover that the energy field of your body is vibrating likewise. This is the basis of all mediumship, the increase of sensitivity.
So the feather here symbolises that super-sensitivity and it belongs to a bird of the air and the air word signifies, as you know in Latin, spiritus, and the pneuma of the Greeks, signifies spirit. It isn’t simply the stuff that you hit with your hand and feel, that is very, very crude compared with the sensitivity you have to have in order to feel, not you hitting the air, but the air hitting you. Because when you’re in a room with what you would call still air, no draughts, the air is pulsing all the time. And if you bother to try to feel it, and keep very still you will actually feel that you’re being patted by this stuff. It is actually going round your body. The heat of your body is causing it to move. And if you feel very carefully you will feel it tapping on you. And you’ll feel that it’s tapping with different vigour on different parts of your body, because your body has got different temperatures. But even that physical sensitivity to the air tapping you is not the one signified by this feather. It’s only near to it.
So if we say that the feather symbolises the spirit, and we take the spirit as equivalent to this Aleph transcendent power, intelligence power, then we can understand the meaning in this picture that man’s heart is being judged by putting a feather against it. Because very often the course of a man’s life is made by a decision which he doesn’t know he’s made. For instance, he may be in business, or he may meet somebody in the street and start talking about one subject. And while he’s very busy concentrating on the external material situation, he may see out of the corner of his eye something go by, and at that moment he may think that’s nice, and not even know that he has seen it. And nevertheless, in saying, ‘that’s nice’, he has forged a link in his nervous system, has made a line of least resistance, called the next nervous impulse.
It’s actually a very good method of selling even material commodities to certain gentlemen, by setting up such things to go by. And if they go by, the eye looks at them and thinks, that’s nice. And then half an hour later you show him a picture of that thing and say, I’m having dinner with this thing – would you care to come? And the previous message has already biased him to follow it. And so he goes. I’m telling you now about a trick that is actually practised by certain salesmen I know, who deal with very, very large firms and large amounts of staff, where they actually used this kind of device, it’s sub threshold trickery really, long before sub threshold became known popularly, namely giving a stimulus out of the corner of the eye. And knowing a peculiar fact about the human eye, which has only lately been discovered, that the periphery of the eye, the corner of your eye if you like to call it so, can actually detect movement better than the centre of the eye. The centre of your eye can see a still thing better than a moving thing. But the edge of your eye can see a moving thing better than a still thing.
And the reason for this is very simple. In the self preservation need of a being, dependant on the eye, the thing that moves on the edge must be detectable — which means that we have a very, very special nervous pattern on the edge of the eye which is connected more directly with self preservation instincts than the centre of the eye. So if we want to touch the primitive part of a person, instead of the conscious part, we are better to show it on the corner of the eye. Whereupon it catches the primitive part of him without the logical part knowing he’s been caught.
Now it is this primitive part that we’re talking about now which is really more sensitive to the wider issues than the part down here correspondent to the material activities, say, of an intellectual or a man with an individual will to power. So when we consider this function of the goddess Ma’at and the relation of it with the feather, we are saying that a man’s substance by its own activities is crucifying itself. It is measuring itself, and bringing upon itself its own destiny, its own fate. Now the difference between fate and destiny generally may be stated that: destiny is where you are going to from within, and fate is what happens to you from without. But fate and destiny are like the obverse and reverse of a coin. If you weren’t going somewhere from within, nothing could happen to you from without, because it’s the going from within that exposes you in definite situations.
This phren word which means mind gives you the clue, we have this phe letter which signifies already to divide and the ‘r’ which signifies further differentiation, and the ‘n’ which signifies the continuance of that. So the phren means that consciousness which is continuously dividing and differentiating, the n means continuously. So continuously differentiating by division is the significance of phren and it is in the feeling department that that occurs.
The proof of it is very simple because if I set down a series of elementary equations, like 1=1 and so on, you look at them, and if they are pure mathematical they do not disturb you much, but nevertheless if you feel very carefully you will find that you either like it or you don’t. Look at 1=1 and ask yourself if you like it. Try to feel very carefully. Do you like it? Some people have a bias towards arithmetic, towards mathematical studies, some people have a bias against it. Some people don’t want to know that 1=1, they actually feel repelled by it.
As a matter of fact if we pursue this to the length of study in metaphysics and say 1=1 and therefore anything except a monism is untrue, there is only 1 being, there will arise inside the individuated centres of you a definite dislike of it. There will be an organic dislike because if all things were 1 only, and not many in relation producing a synthetic unity, then it would be splurge, it would go back to a mass of substance with no differentiation in it at all.
Now look very carefully at the equation 1=1 and ask yourself if you feel happy with it. Do you feel a sense of security that 1is 1?
I don’t get it.
You don’t get it?
You feel complete?
Incomplete? What would complete it? You feel nothing and you feel that it’s incomplete. Now if you refine your feeling you must feel something about it, because you cannot have an idea without a correspondent feeling, because an idea is a precipitate within a field. And the awareness of that field is feeling. To use consciousness is feelings. And an idea is a precipitate of a field and therefore whenever there’s an idea, there’s a feeling state, if you’re sensitive enough to see it.
Now, let’s change these two 1s. And we’ll say the name of one is Negro and the name of one is White Man, and let’s say that Negro = White Man. Now have a look at it and ask yourself how you feel about it. There are a lot of people in the country that would feel awful about it and some people would feel pleased about it and so on. How d’you feel about it? That’s 1 and that’s 1, that’s 1 Negro and that’s 1 White Man. What have we added to the idea of simple unity, and what feeling has arisen from it? Can you detect a feeling difference?
If we change the word Negro to Hindu and put = Chinese [Hindu = Chinese], is the feeling equivalent when you look at Negro = White Man, and Hindu = Chinese? Now what’s the difference?
One brings it very close to home, doesn’t it?
The important thing is that you’re identified with this one and that identification puts you on guard a little. It’s in your root of self-preservation there, and what you are trying to preserve is an idea, a concept of yourself, you’re a white man who was brought up to believe it. A lot of history has been told you, some of it rubbishy and some of it true, that Negroes are black men and black men a short time ago made a lot of money for Liverpool by being slaves. Now that kind of emotional knowledge is underneath your general awareness, and it conditions you.
So when we look at this feather, we can see that it means in evaluating your own heart you must be so sensitive that you can feel the difference between a Negro, and for those who are old enough, a Negra, called Polack. You see? They both meant the same thing, black, only the Pola Negri2 meant quite black. She’s a sort of contradiction in terms and she had a great deal of popularity because she had a funny name that brought this into contact with this without a stigma. At least without much stigma.
Now very, very often you’ll find that the ‘not strange’ has no selling value, and if you put a little bit of the ‘strange’ in it, but not too much, its selling value goes up. It’s probable that in the popular sense, the Negro version of the opera Carmen had a greater popular effect than the ordinary version of it would have had with an eighteen stone soprano in it, with a white ??????
We have to see the emotional values of these words because these words are forms and every form you have is conditioning your destiny and your fate. The things seen out of the corner of your eye are like the things felt vaguely about those words, and you have to turn onto that which caught at the periphery of your eye the full force of your logic to find out why it caught you. What is it? And yet you know that the centre of your eye tends to react to the static better than to the moving. It tends to pin it, and in so doing to falsify it — because really there is nothing static in the universe. So when the intellect selects something and establishes it, and pretends it is a static form, it is really telling lies.
In fact the law - the word ‘law’ is from the verb ‘to lay’ - and that which is laid down, is a lie. And the word ‘law’ and ‘lie’ and ‘lay’ are all from the same root, because the moment you put something down and say, that is fixed, you’ve told an absolute lie, because the essential qualities of the Absolute are dynamic. There is no possibility of applying a static concept in the Absolute. The idea of static is the idea of two forces in opposition, pinning something for a time. So all those beings that look for security in any formulated concept whatever, are really looking for security in something that doesn’t exist — namely a static.
Now the more exercise you do on testing your feeling reaction to words and to anything you see in people – you look at somebody who has a pale face and somebody else a warmer face, and somebody else square face, and a round face — try to find out your reaction in feeling to it. And then when you are feeling very, very finely — because an idea is the centre of a field — if you feel very, very finely you will be able to define accurately what you’re feeling. Now this is judging yourself with a feather. And remember it is Ma’at who is conducting this operation, that is it is your own substance, with its internal activities which is establishing definitions. And every established definition that you have is going to hit back at the substance and commit you to some situation.
Now before we go any further with the rest of these strange characters, is it quite clear what we are supposed to do in order to increase this feather-brain sensitivity of ours?
We are concerned with our own substance, and we have to increase its sensitivity so that we can detect in that substance the very finest movements, which if we don’t alter them, will go in a definite direction, gain momentum, mass and inertia, and eventually be so packed that they cannot be diverted by all the efforts of the conscious mind. There are a million likings and dislikings under everything that you experience, and those tend to form alliances between each other, and create a great army, until eventually you have a disposition, a position which dis-integrates you. It takes you out of your true substantial condition, your original, and commits you into a finite situation.
There’s the eye and here’s the point looking at you, and the edge of it is sensitive to moving things and the centre of it to static things. We’ll put an Andrew cross on it for the moving ones and a George cross for the static ones. And all the moving ones here are very hard to see with the middle part. And that middle part is like your conscious, logical mind. And the rest of it, the edge of it, is like the so-called unconscious mind, which is nevertheless reacting to things on the perimeter of consciousness.
Try to see that — if you can find out what you feel about a single letter as opposed to another letter — that you are dealing in sensitivity, because the only things you think with are forms. You cannot think without a form, and you cannot judge a form without liking it or disliking it. I’ll put down a vertical line. Look at it and see if you like it. I’ll put down another one. Look at that. See if you can feel this one and this one. Do they feel different to you? What does this one feel like? Better. Well, we know that when that feels better, it’s a sign that we’re still suffering from a ‘flat earth’ concept.
Because if we like to draw the globe here and say that’s a mast sticking out and the moon is over here, and the first up that mast gets a lollipop as a reward, the feeling might change.
Nevertheless, the fact is that for all general purposes the vertical gives us a better feeling than this [horizontal], and the reason is association. When we are vertical we are generally awake. When we are horizontal we are generally asleep or otherwise engaged and therefore off guard. So the important thing to see is that there’s an insecurity in lying down. You don’t fight, at least in war time, at your best, simply lying down. And you can, when you are vertical, give a better account of yourself. This [vertical] feels dignified, this [horizontal] doesn’t. Now if we put both together we have another kind of feeling. And the feeling that we get is not simply the feeling of the vertical and the feeling of the horizontal, it’s the feeling of something else besides, over and above that.
Now some people think that a number is simply the sum total of those internal numbers that compose it: that 6 is simply a row of 1s, and that it has nothing over and above six 1s in it. But we are saying here that any relation causes the emergence of something quite different from the parts in isolation. So we don’t simply take verticality and horizontality, and dignity and lack of it, we put them together and say, vertical/horizontal, dignified and passive, active/passive, positive/negative.
We also see here a right-angle, here a right-angle, here a right-angle and there’s something going on inside here — a sort of arrowhead vector quality that emerges and forces the eye onto the intersection point. So that we’re actually becoming more sensitive to the significance of that cross when we can see this arrowhead here, and the right-angle, and the fact that we are literally forced by this openness here, and this gradual narrowing, to gaze at the intersection point. Why is it that every time we make two lines cross each other, the eye goes to the intersection point? Why does it do it? It doesn’t matter what the angle we cross them at, it always goes there. Why does it do it? The answer is that there’s an arrowhead there and in there, and that from the wide, progressively it narrows the attention.
Now there’s an old mystical statement, every spirit seeks a body. We are bodies and we have been sought and found by spirit. And spirit is infinite, therefore we cannot define it. But the approach to it must be from the point of view of any existent being, the material being, an expansion — going wider and wider and wider and wider. And the return to that body must be a narrowing of the attention.
So in actual fact when we find ourselves looking at the intersection point we are really under the influence of this fact that spirit is seeking a body; that the infinite is in process of pre-ferring — which is rationally making an objectification of its own capacities — so an infinite potential becomes a finite actual. Now we have to feel these things in order to be able evaluate our own inner motive. Simply to do the drawing of the weighing of the heart by means of a feather and think it is mythic and it’s what the Egyptians used to believe, and possibly to do, wouldn’t help us. But if we know that it is in the centre of our heart — in the centre of our preference, our liking and disliking — that we are actually creating slight baises in the substance, that we are actually making in the nervous system resistances in the synapses, electrical resistances that will make it difficult to think in a certain direction, and very, very probable that we will think in another direction. So out of these millions of little likes and dislikes we are conditioning our own substance to respond to a stimulus in a definite manner. So that the fate of the soul, the fate of the owner of that feeling, is determined by the increase of sensitivity.
Now, Osiris is mentioned here on the left of the scale, and Osiris himself, if you remember, was cut to pieces — you’ll find references of this being cut to pieces in other mythologies, you can ………. and other people — and you will find that being cut to pieces as a reference to this process, the Ma’at, the whole substance, is being cut – there’s your letter ‘M’ - and the Osirian body is the whole universal body. But the motions of the substance of it, continuously re-crossing, are apparently cutting it into bits.
Now when the Osirian body is cut to bits in this manner, we have the particularised mind. And it has to be gathered together and made again into a unity, which is done through the labours of Isis, the moon goddess, and Horus. Now you remember that the moon symbolises the mind, as gathering together all the scattered impulses which are the dismembered body of the universe. And Horus signifies the hierarchical consciousness. You cannot just gather them together like a democrat, and say they’re all equally valid. If you do, you will have an infinite plane and there will be nothing on that plane to tell you where you ought to begin. Everything will be on the same level.
So Horus, who is a hawk headed god, signifies that high flying mind, that aspect that climbs right up and surveys the whole thing from above. So you have the concept then of a pyramid with an eye above it and the eye is surveying the whole field. And the higher you go, the fewer. That is to say, the percepts down here are many, like the stones in the lower levels of the pyramid, and then they come into fewer general ideas, fewer still, and then the supreme, universal idea. And all of those are projections of the original eye [I] or conscious intelligence which created the universe.
So the Osirian body is the universe as seen particularly, as seen in bits by your five sense organs, and the gathering together of it is by the mental process actually to see the similarities in things, and to synthesise them, on the plan that you have, when like a hawk you fly up into the eye of the sun, which symbolises the will, into the heights of the will, and look down on the whole world and all its contents, and see them in terms of relative values. The moment you think of things in terms of relative values, you are forced to set up a pyramid.
And in the same way with your daily life, you can find some things that you could live without easily, some things that you could live without with a bit of difficulty, others with a lot of difficulty, and some that you couldn’t live without at all, which we will call essentials. Now if you can sort your life out into essentials and non essentials, and make sure that you do the essentials first, then you will enjoy the non-essentials better. But the usual process is to spend energy in doing non-essentials and then feeling bad because you haven’t attended to essentials.
The reason for it is perfectly simply. A sense stimulus from outside disturbs the organism and causes a reaction, it cuts your unity into bits – that’s your individual Osirian body being cut to bits by stimuli. And this continuous tendency to react back from the stimulus is the same thing, in the pyramid diagram, as going down to the lowest level. The lowest level is like the perimeter of your being. And the highest level, where the eye is in the centre, the true self-consciousness, is the highest being.
So the non-essentials of your life are arranged round your deep heart. You know that the sign of Leo goes in there, from the Zodiac, which has to do with your deepest will. And your will is always for or against something. So to understand your deepest will is to have the possibility of sorting your life out, and pushing to the perimeter those things that should be on the perimeter, and retaining in the centre those things which should be in the centre. This is the opposite of what happens in ordinary daily life. The external things of the world crowd in and worry people, they keep them awake at night, they actually have that power, because of the power of the stimulus, to disturb and perturb the mind — and the essentials are continuously knocked out by the non essentials.
So if we set up the idea of a pyramid as a hierarchy, a system of values of relative importance, and than translate that pyramid round and build six of the ???ears and build our circle again out of it with its six parts, with the eye as central to it, and we have to consider the five senses and their stimuli, the messages they bring us, in terms of their essential or non-essential values. There are certain sounds that are not essential to us, like the sound of a dripping tap in the night. They’re not essential but they have a power to disturb if you identify with them. There are certain perfumes, there are certain tastes, touches and so on, and you should go through all your five senses, and with your sixth common sense, the sensitivity common to the other five, you should be able to integrate them and understand what is essential and what not. What belongs to your deepest will, and what does not.
And the rule is quite simple. All you have to do is increase your sensitivity and never look for more than ‘I like it and I don’t like it’. There’s no question here of complications, because ‘I like it and I don’t like it’ is a primary polarity. The first manifestation of the Absolute into ‘this - not this’, is the same as ‘I like it – I don’t like it’. So you can’t get any deeper than, ‘I like it and I don’t like it’. So you needn’t look for any mysteries beyond, ‘I like it and I don’t like it’. There aren’t any. If you try to find beyond ‘I like it and don’t like it’, in Boehme’s [Jacob Boehme] words you will become ……….., you will become twisted literally, because the energies in your body as you search out, always curl back and try to objectify themselves. Because they don’t want, they don’t wish, they don’t desire something, unless they like it. And what is not likeable must be pushed away, must be disliked.
So in the balancing with the feather we are concerned with the centre of the heart, and it is this feeling and not any other that can sort out all the bodies you have, and this is tremendously important to realise that you cannot do it by thinking without feeling. If you take the Encyclopaedia Britannica and its various rivals, and read them all, like a little boy called the Hamptonshire Wonder once did, if you don’t feel about it you will have no judgement about it. You will just look at it and you will have absorbed form, like a girl studying English literature in the university does, and it will not help you in any way to lead your life, or to create any destiny.
Now there are some other figures in this picture. If you want to study the significance of each one you would have to read the behaviour of each animal in the country where the myth is formulated. And I’ll take two of the most obvious ones again. The Horus head, the falcon head, is that aspect of consciousness which flies up away from the gross material world. And there is another figure there with the head of a jackal, and the jackal barks in the morning when the sun comes up, he’s like the cock-a-doodle-doo of that part of the world. And therefore he means ‘wake up’, he’s the waker. Actually the English name ‘Barker’ is derived from that same source, the barker was the herald or hermetic figure, who went before the king and shouted out, here is the illimitable light of the universe. Because you know monarchs always had very high titles, like ‘most splendiferous son of the super universe’. And they had a man running ahead of them, called the barker, the herald, whose sole function was to shout out the peculiar virtues of his king.
So when we look at the eye of Horus, that hawk eye, and we look at the jackal down here who is busy barking away, he is shouting out the virtues of the man with the eye of Horus. What we find about these Egyptian kings, and about kings in other countries, that the high flying birds — the hawk, the eagles and so on — were sacred to royalty, and they were associated with the solar disc, and the kings of the ancient world claimed to be from the sun; they were sons of the sun. And because of that they were able to rule on the earth, because they could see more than other people. They had a high mind, and they meant literally a mind that could go up a mountain – there’s a mountain and there’s two valleys, the man could go up there, and could look into this valley and look into this valley.
He can then study the behaviour of two peoples, and then if he wants to, he could rule those two peoples, because he knows the aberrations of these people, and the aberrations of these people. These two peoples have got faults — every individual has faults. If this gentleman, having climbed up the mountain, and who therefore evidences a high mind, studies the peculiar faults of these two valley cultures, he can then go back to either of them, and he can say, the people in the next valley are ready for trouble; we must prepare to resist them. And because he has come down the mountain, and told them about it, their fear, which they must have of the unknown, causes them to integrate round him and say, ‘what next’?
Now very often we find in mythology references to sacred mountains, where common people are not allowed to go up. You can easily see that the man with a high mind who can gain an advantage by having a high mind of a mountain, will make that part of the mountain taboo to the populace. So that we find in ancient times people actually terrified of the spirits of high mountains, and the priests’ telling them, you mustn’t go up there, the gods live up there, and if you go up there, there is death. Now the gods, if we trace them back, we find historically refer to human beings with the high mind. They are called gods even in the Bible. Even Christ calls them gods. He says, when he is accused of making himself like God, is it not written ye are gods?
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….. or whatever was inimical to health. And in another place, another valley where there was a desert and no water, you do not find the right of baptism, but you find something else. So if you import a man from the desert into this place and he sees people washing in that which he personally never uses except to drink, he will be very surprised and think they’re wasteful. And if you take some of these people and put them over here where nobody washes, they will think they’re dirty. Some peoples wash themselves in coconut butter, and keep themselves nice and shiny with it. It’s very nice, it glistens. But the differences in these cultures enable the man who knows all about them all to rule. So the eye of Horus enables him to set up a scale of relative values.
Now we know that one people who we’ll call loosely, the Jews, [1:03:43] have travelled a lot in different countries and they have gathered together in their dispersion, information about all the different philosophical systems of the world, and they have set those systems of ideas one above the other and made themselves a hierarchy of values. And by means of that hierarchy of values they hope to rule the world. And if they, and they alone, were to have those ideas, they would rule the world. Christ refers to this when he tells them they have had the Light, this is the eye of Horus again, and they have not used it, and therefore it will be given out to the Gentiles, and that Light will begin to lift them up.
So that we see historically that from the moment the truth of individual freedom was taught, and freedom from tribal dominion occurs with Christianity, then people who were previously down here began to lift themselves up, and they were taught that there was an individual value, a value inside themselves as individuals, independent of the tribe or the nation or the state. And being so taught they lifted themselves up, and then they looked across and saw the other men with the high minds, and they realised that a high mind can be secured by anybody with the necessary energy. And from that moment comes the great clash of all the high minded people.
Those beings down here who don’t want to be high minded and don’t want to know, stay down there and they’re the Proles of a certain recent novel [George Orwell’s 1984:in which the Proletariat are so labelled], and those who wish to climb up have understood something of the doctrine, and therefore, in so far as they can rise at all, they are justified. The justification, the balance – justice is balance – is always in the achievement. The man who gets so high is justified, the man who gets so high is justified. The justification is the balance that you attain in your own substance with your own form. Sometimes theologians debate this question of, what is the meaning of justification in the Bible?
Now justification means balance, and the being who can balance himself is justified. If he does it by and from his own inner centre, he is self justified. We will see later on that to be self justified is the same thing as to be Absolutely justified. Meanwhile we have to see that this question of merit and justification has to do with attainment, with energy level, with how much you put into a stimulus situation, and how much you are prepared to take out of an existing tradition. All success in the world at whatever level is nothing except the expression of energy finding a proper form. Nothing else can be done. You have substance, form. And that form is a force which is applied to that substance. Force into substance makes form. The force you have is your own willpower, and therefore you have to decide what you like and what you don’t like.
And another symbol we find on many headdresses is the symbol of the cobra, which is made a headdress in the Egyptian one, and it is a hooded snake, and the hooding of that snake signifies its protectiveness, although in fact that snake spreads this out in order to frighten its enemies, which is to symbolise that the king is prepared to frighten the enemies of his people. So it’s protectiveness. Whether we see it in Egyptian headdress or in the Indian sculptures, it means the same thing. The serpent signifies the free thinker, the man who is free and who is able to pent himself, to hold himself in, to contain himself and who hangs on the Absolute, not on the particular.
‘Ser’ is the same as the root from which we get serrated, tooth. And the free is this, that the waves lifting themselves up from the body of the ocean free themselves from mass inertia. So when you break your mass inertia, you become aware of ideas that you didn’t previously have. Now this tells you that ideas grow in action. You cannot by sitting still on a plinth somewhere – that’s how the Anchorites in the early Christian days become omniscient. You can learn something about the effects on the pelvic bones of continuous sitting, but you can’t learn about some other things.
Every action teaches you something, and some other things it won’t teach you. Because the action is form, and what you have learned is no more than form. It is the mass inertia of your own substance which has to be broken, and then you’ll be ‘ser’. As a title, Sir, the Knight, is exactly the same word — it means he who has broken his mass inertia, and now has teeth to fight with. ‘Pent’ means think, ‘hang’ and hold in, so the ser-pent means the free, self controlled being. Really it’s a reflexive self-conscious being and we can then see why one of the oldest symbols that we’ve ever seen in prehistory of God is a serpent, that is, a free, reflexive being.
The cobra as the hooded, spreading out serpent, is that free being who has undertaken to rule and to protect. And quite obviously if he is ruling and protecting, he must either be working for himself or a bigger serpent. So if we complete the serpent with his hood, and some other serpents with their hoods, we will build our three fold wheel with Shem Ham and Japheth. And the supreme serpent is the one with the big hood that’s a sphere, that is, the universal being itself, the Ishvara of the Hindus.
When we consider a symbol of this order we are actually calling upon ancestral images, upon mythic content. Now all the mythic content lies inside the germ plasm in our bodies — which means that the more mythical your consciousness, the more you know about these myths, the more you feel about them, the more in contact with genetic forces you are. And these genetic forces are those which will confer upon you all the understanding of your ancestral line. And as each one of us has a different line from the original being of the universe, so each one of us has a special genius or generative force. To be a genius all you have to do is find in your heart centre the force that is trying to generate, and when it does generate without opposition, without resistance from the mass inertia of your body, then you are a genius.
So if we take the original substance of the universe with the differentiating factors, which split out and go along different lines, we then see that the generative force, seeking expression, is the genius of that line. Then you can understand why every family has a genius and you can understand the meaning of your name, your sire’s name, the being from which you derive, the original free being that broke away from the mass inertia and thus deserved the name ‘sire’, or free being. That sire is trying to gain expression through you. If you discover the peculiar genius of a generative force of your own line embedded in your name, then you can work freely, that is, cutting away non essentials along your own family line. Every family has a definite function. That function is seeking expression. It’s continuously contradicted by other families. But if you find it, you are finding your self, your meaning and your proper destiny.
So you can understand then the meaning of genius of a race, the genius of a tribe, of a family, of an individual within the family, because there is always continuous splitting off. The implications of the original genius or generative idea force, are that something can be done in an ever widening environ, more and more diverse, but always from the same genius, from the same generative force. And the man who tries to go against his own genius will be at war with himself and with all the genetic forces inside himself, and he will become sick. He will disintegrate, because he cannot in fact defeat the genius of his line without defeating himself, because he is the end, the terminal point.
And we know that when a tree is growing, if you cut off the tip of it, then it cannot grow. If you keep cutting the tip off, the whole branch cannot grow. If the twig gets a bud on it and you cut it off, it can’t grow. So the meaning of the individual human being is the same as a bud on a tree. If you cut off the individual human being, you cut off the means whereby the genius of the race was seeking expression. So if you cut off any part of that function which that genius is trying to propagate, in the same way it cannot grow, and where it is not growing it is beginning to disintegrate. You must do either one or the other. Because wherever the genius, the spirit trying to seek expression, cannot get expression, it will turn away and try to find an expression elsewhere.
So if you allow the inner genius inside yourself to be blocked by your education or by forces from outside, it will turn away and seek expression elsewhere. If you cut it down completely so that it cannot express itself at all outside, it will turn in on the body and begin to cut the body in bits. This is one of the chief causes of physical degeneration, where the thwarted genius turns on the body and that energy begins to break the body up. You see, in expression, in action, there is health, and in the inhibition of that expression is the root of disease.
Now you see here a strange thing. He who is able to control himself freely is one of these serpent kings, a divine being. But he who has himself pent up by external stimuli is going to die. To control yourself freely, because the time is not yet right, or because you have a scale of values and some you would rather fulfil than the others, is right. But to allow yourself to be restrained from outside, by social and other considerations, so that your inner genius, which is pressing through from your ancestors seeking expression is choked, is to commit suicide.
So when we are measuring ourselves inside, when we are playing Ma’at and putting a feather against our heart, we have to ask ourselves, what is our genius? What peculiar force is trying to express itself through this line? In Zen there’s a nice little question, one of the koans, which says, what was your original face before you were born? Now the original face before you were born is simply that absolute potential of the genius from which you derive. It is a formal possibility which must press through a line – go down here with an offshoot, a direction, a legitimate implication, a legitimate development of the original genius.
If you turn back to find your original face and climb back along your ancestors you will find in the universal configuration of forces in eternity a form, which reflected into the time process, you represent. In eternity in the original universal configuration, that particular form is your original face. And when you call upon that original face, and dare to allow it to express itself in the time process, then you are genius. And if you allow that expression to be inhibited by external considerations, you will choke your genius.
So you see this old concept that we find say in Plato, er … Socrates had a genius which spoke to him. He says of his genius, he never spoke except to say, No. Now that is to be understood in this way. Socrates knew his original face, he knew what Socrates meant, he was ‘Soc’ and ‘Rates’, you’ve got a ‘saviour’ of ‘reason’. And you can see why Socrates was the greatest dialectician, the greatest arguefier that the western world has known. He was eternally a saviour of reason, he was a force committed to save reason.
So when he appeared in the time process and looked round at the world to see things, whatever he tested himself for movement towards or away from, if he started to move towards something and that thing did not correspond with part of the meaning of Socrates in his original face, then it shouted down to him, No! That left him absolutely free to do any of the myriads of things that were legitimate expressions of Socrates. But it shouted down, No! if he started moving towards something that was not an expression of his original face.
Now in exactly the same way, inside the body of every human being there is a feeling centre, from which continuously wells up this feeling force, which is the true genius. You can never know what it is unless you move on it. You can’t know beforehand, and this is the meaning of faith. In faith, you commit yourself before you know. If you won’t commit yourself before you know, you won’t know anything. Because it is only in action that the form of the situation becomes manifest.
So to find out your potential, you must commit yourself into actuality. This actually means — if we’ve got a very brave man here we might do it tonight — this actually means that if somebody stands up in the middle of the room, feels in his body and turns slowly in the room, and looks at all the people in the room, he will find in his body a definite inclination, towards or away from every other person in the room. Now if you don’t actually have the nerve to do it, you cannot find out. If you do have the nerve to do it, and blow the consequences, then you will find out that inside your physical body there is an absolutely infallible feeling.
Now have we got a nice brave fellow, who will dare to do it? Will you dare to do that?
Now this will be an interesting experiment from the point of view of the man who does it. Can you stand up here? Just stand in the middle and feel with your body with a slight sway like this, just sway, and I want you to feel when you’re swaying, do I want to turn to the right or the left, or stay where I am? And then look at each person and do it separately to each person.
You don’t have to tell them. All you have to do is feel. Just watch what happens inside you, because we can’t say that you made a rational evaluation of the character of everyone in the room already, can we?
And consequently what you’re going to learn, this process, is going to be new to you, and in the process you’ll discover that it feels quite right and that you will say to yourself, if I had thought about it I would have come to the same conclusions. So start with any person you like and do this, and you must feel. You can’t do it unless the body’s moving with it, the body must move because this movement connects certain nervous impulses with the most primitive part of ourselves. Try and feel when you go like this whether you’d like to incline towards, or away from, or pass on. Look at each person. While you’re looking at them, freely — you’ve no need to tell anybody what’s happening inside you — can you feel the kind of feeling I’m talking about?
Yes. Now this feeling is infallible. It has to do with your own genius, your own make up, your own character fundamentally, and it is the basis of proper diagnosis. It means if you do that on patients, you can pinpoint particular things in them.
Let’s try it on the other people. Now while we’re doing it, we’ll all just retune …………. While we are doing it on you, you will try and feel our attitudes towards you. You don’t have to say what they are.
‘And we’ll be honest.’
What have you got out of that? When you think about it, does it feel to you that as you think, your thinking is correspondent with your feeling? And if you worked it out by thought, you’d come to the same conclusion.
‘I think you would eventually, yes.’
Mmmm. Well, thanks for the demonstration. ………………………….. If this is realised, that the body is very, very wise. Nietzsche, who felt this very, very strongly called it the body wisdom. And he meant that the body itself is very, very old. The egg which became your physical body, the one you’ve got now, is of tremendous age. It isn’t 30, or 40, or whatever ………, that egg which developed into your present physical body is so old that it is actually as old as the universe itself. The formal content of that egg which became you, existed in eternity as an original form — called your original face.
Which means, if you are aware of the feeling bias in your body towards other things, the yes/no in the body itself, you will be able to draw on all the judgements your ancestral genius has ever made. And when you can do that, it’s exactly as if a twig were able to draw on the sap out of the branch, and the branch out of the trunk, and the trunk out of the roots. It’s exactly the same. And the twig that thought it was new and wanted to cut itself off from the branch to exhibit its independence would be just like a modern boy cutting off from his parents, grandparents and the human race in general.
The thing to realise is that the physical body is not the body of a few years old, it is an egg which has developed, and its present existence is evidence that something from a colossal past has survived up to now. And therefore myriads of judgements of the ancestors are in your body now. You have a yardstick in the body, and this can only be known when you expose the body to a situation fearlessly. If you fear, you inhibit. If you expose yourself to the situation, as Dr Lawrence [Peter Cushing in The Ghoul: 1975?] very bravely did, then you feel something coming up and this feeling you must trust absolutely, because if you distrust it you will interfere with it. It is illogical to distrust it, because if you distrust it you kill it. And if you trusted it, if it was no good it would manifest its no-good-ness by producing nothing. But if you distrust it, you inhibit it, and you could never find out if was good or bad.
So the precondition of calling upon this inner genius, this which is resident in the heart which is being evaluated with the feather, is to increase the sensitivity, and the only way this can be done is in action. And the only way it can be done for an existential human being is by moving the physical body, and feeling inside the physical body little inclinations, little tendencies in different parts of the body, and in the body as a whole. The body is very, very ancient. The forms in the body, hidden in the germ plasm, are tremendously ancient. They go right beyond time into eternity, and they are seeking expression now in every one of us.
To find that particular form which we legitimately are, that which was implied in the original face, and is now at the point of expression, is to find the meaning of one’s life, to understand one’s destiny, and to be able to avoid unpleasant fates, and to move into that fate that was worth having.
Is that fairly clear now? You must do it with the physical body and you must move the physical body, and feel when you incline towards a person whether you like so to incline. If you are in doubt, take a little movement towards him and see whether the body tends to continue it. When you get a total reaction towards a person, then take a little bit of them, because you might find that a particular being repels you in some measure, and yet if you take a portion of that being, it doesn’t, because each individual has many ancestors, and therefore has many original faces, one to each ancestral line backwards. And yet there is one particular original face which is to be expressed by that being in that particular time and place.
Now have we any questions from that?
When you talk about this feeling/sensitivity, I have difficulty myself in being able to decide what is emotional flux inside myself, and what is feeling/sensitivity. In other words I feel that sometimes I’ve reacted when it could quite possibly have been a feeling about something.
Well, let’s consider very carefully. Emotion is an outward motion of the feeling.
Feeling is field consciousness. When you identify with any given centre, as you would normally identify with your physical body as a centre, then any motion that you feel in the field, which starts in that centre and moves out, is an emotion. So an emotion is felt as a movement from a particular centre, and it’s in relation to that centre that it is called an emotion. Now the question to be determined is this: does that emotion arise from your own centre without an external stimulus provoking it, or is it simply a reaction to an external stimulus? If it is a mere reaction to an external stimulus, not coming from your centre, then it isn’t what you have to cultivate. But if you feel, you will know immediately.
Let’s take it, there’s three concentric circles here, a stimulus comes from outside and it has a certain wavelength, a certain frequency, a certain degree of coarseness. Consequently it can only penetrate so far into that being and it can only produce a reaction there at the level of that fundamental. Supposing we say that that stimulus is of a definite wavelength, and we say that wavelength is its fundamental. Then the greatest disturbance will only go up to that limit, and there’s the physical body. Now a fine motion inside here also occurs, and its appropriate reaction, and the fine motion inside here is thinking. And this is still motion of the stimulus, but it is not felt as a tendency of the physical body to do something immediately about it, but an idea arises in there, much weaker, from the point of view of the individual.
And in it is made the judgement, if this stimulus were to come again very often I would move away from it, or if it came very often, I will move towards it. But there’s no actual physical movement to that stimulus. But inside here in the centre is your will. There’s an idea, and there’s your body reaction, and there’s your will. Now this stimulus can never gain power over this centre unless that centre identifies with the idea or the body.
Remember, we said when a motion goes in, it cannot go to the dead centre, it would block the whole thing. So it wheels out again and leaves a hole in the middle. And that hole is the kingdom of heaven. That hole is free will, and nothing can constrain that. When people are brainwashed with stupid tricks, attacks on the body, a person of reflexive self conscious will cannot be made to change his mind, because in a real sense he’s not identified with it, and he wouldn’t consider he had one. He’d be quite content to be a reflexive self conscious free will.
So the stimulus from outside acting on the body can produce a body reaction like a knee jerk, or a shadow of a body reaction, called an idea, but it cannot determine what the will does with it, because it never penetrates that far. But the will has the capacity because the will is the precipitation of the field, the initiation of motion in the field, it can spread itself out in its awareness, and it can become aware of ideas and aware of the body. And when it does so habitually, as being aware of the body, then any stimulus coming to the body, the will reacts to it as if it were a body. It doesn’t have to but it does do because it is identified. You can see the danger of identification from this, that when the will, the consciousness, the ‘I’, says to itself, I am that body, or, I am that idea, it immediately places itself under the law of body reaction or under the idea reaction, the so-called logical relation. The will itself is beyond logic and beyond body activity, and it can identify with the idea or the body, and if it does identify it will come under the law governing either the idea, or the body, or both.
So we see the tremendous importance of what we’ve always said here, about the force coming in and not being able to go to the dead centre. Identification means the fittingness of forms, biting with the top teeth on the bottom, and so on. If that will deliberately spends itself out, then when the stimulus comes and the body reacts and is felt, it will say, I am reacting. If the after motion of it, the finer motion called the idea, is identified with, it will say, I am thinking. And if another motion comes in and says that you’re thinking rubbish, it will defend itself, because it has identified itself.
But if instead of saying, I am the body, or, I am the idea, it says, there is a body, and, there is an idea — the body by its very necessity must react to a stimulus and the idea must react to a stimulus, but will is free — then it sees the reactions of the body and idea, or body and mind, without itself involving itself in them. And thus it remains free, even though those reactions occur.
Now the being who attains this level, of being able to see the body reaction and the mind reaction and yet not identifying with it, is called the jivanmukta, the free in life, the man who has — although he’s still got an individual body and mind — inner freedom from them. So that at the dissolution of those things, he is not lost, he is himself, he is reflexively, self consciously, a will. And because he has no parts, he cannot be destroyed. And because he is not identified he cannot panic when the body breaks or the mind becomes schizophrenic. He refers always backwards onto the essential unity of his will.
So in that case then, if in spite of the fact that you might have emotion which you are still able to watch, that’s, that’s quite all right.’
Oh yes. You recognise that when the stimulus comes there’ll be a tendency for the body to react back on it, and if it reaches into certain idea complexes – remember each idea has ‘I like it’ and ‘I don’t like it’ attached to it – and so what you would call an emotional flux having its original outside yourself will be recognised as such, because in the state of non identification you know as a fact, not as a theory, that you haven’t initiated this yourself.
Now it’s quite different when, say a young man who is having a row with his girlfriend, she having run off up the road, he chases her and as soon as she’s forgiven him, he decides he’ll run away too. And so they spend their evening running away from each other and catching up. And internally they feel that they are doing it on purpose, that it’s not simply a product of an external stimulus, but that they are initiating this funny behaviour from inside. You may watch pigeons running round, you’ll see a hen pigeon running away and she’ll run in a curve and the cock will be chasing her and if he’s not careful she will be running round him because they’re going in a circle. Then he has to turn round and go the other way.
Now that is coming from their deep centre, from the pigeon genius which likes doing that kind of game. And it manifests for its own function in certain periods. When the will comes out to reproduce itself from inside, we know that it comes out quite independently of an external stimulus, because if you place that man in prison with no stimulus there, nevertheless there will arise from his centre a certain tendency, and that tendency is the tendency arising from the genius of the race from which he springs, which is determined to make another twig, in other words to work out another implication of the original idea.
But by sensitivity you can tell whether the emotive flux is caused by an external stimulus, or whether it comes from inside you. If it’s from outside you ignore it and then it dies, because the energy of reaction is your energy of will identifying, and when the will is withdrawn from identification, the reaction ceases. If you withdraw it even a little bit, the reaction tendency of the body or the mind immediately falls down to a lower level. You’re not so easily provoked. And if your non identification is perfected, then you cannot be provoked at all. But this does not mean that you’re dead, it means that whatever happens in future will come from you, from your own generative centre, from your own genius, and not from the external situation.
If provoked it would also be perturbed, you would not be perturbed, would you? You wouldn’t be perturbed under such stimulation, would you?
Well perturbation is another word for provocation.
Mmmmm. Provoked into reaction or presentation.
If you consider the turbulation that goes on in the substance, you would say, I am perturbed. But if you consider the rational statement that you would make about it, that’s provocation.
So perturbation explaining itself is provocation.
You know what was said once about ‘like’ and ‘alike’, those feelings that you’ve been experimenting with tonight, would they be the same? If ‘A’ stood there and felt driven away from ‘B’ then would it absolutely follow that if ‘B’ stood there he would withdraw from ‘A’.
If they were at the same level of sensitivity, Yes.
Remember that a man is a very complex being, some parts will repel and some parts would attract at the same time, because we have many ancestors and there are many intermarriages back, which bring us into continual cross-cross relation. Nevertheless there’s something in us that’s fundamentally opposed, otherwise we would not exist as separate beings, and that opposition should be there. We haven’t to try to conquer that opposition, we just accept difference as such and make no apology for it, and we’re not perturbed by it. It as an essential part of the fact that a tree spreads its branches out, and when it makes a new branch or a new twig, it doesn’t then feel guilty of leaving the parent trunk. So the twigs don’t have to apologise, and we are all twigs off one cosmic tree, so we don’t need to apologise for our differences.
In the office I work in, most of the people stay to have their lunch there and there’s a room set apart and quite a pattern will form as to where people will sit.
And it’s occasionally broken, but it’s fairly consistent.
Mmmmm. When it is broken you’ll find that some stimulus has broken it, it’s forced into consciousness for the time being some other part of it.
Actually I’ve been trying to work it out on zodiacal signs but I don’t know if ……
Very, very often you’ll find a marked evidence of it. You’ll often find that like signs repel each other.
I was going to ask that. The fact that you are repelled by someone suggests a likeness.
Well, it’s a question of how many ……..
Is this the value of doing the exercise?
One of the values.
One of the values.
It has many, many values. That’s one of them. It isn’t even the most important.
The most important one is giving you an absolute security, by making you aware of eternality in you, which cannot be taken away from you by any means whatever, and therefore you don’t need to defend it any more.
Because you’re only provoked to defend that which may be taken away from you. And what may be taken away from you cannot be yours. And you’re better without it. Because what really belongs to us takes up all the room in us that we have to spare, so we don’t really want anything that doesn’t belong to us, because there’s no room for it.
The capture of the unicorn by the virgin, is important in the myth there, the unicorn can only be captured by a virgin. And if you get a virgin and put her down in the forest a unicorn will come and put its head in her lap and then you can tie it up. Unicorn is the unique power, the uni-fic power which is only possible in absolutely pure motive, a motive unspotted by external considerations. The twist on the horn of the unicorn and that it’s made of mother-of-pearl tells you what it is. The whole of your will has gathered itself together and twisted itself into a unity and you’ve allowed no external consideration to divert you, and that is only possible with the virgin will, that is the will unspotted, unstimulated from outside itself. [*****]
That’s what the genius is doing.
Mmmmm. Just that.
All those that are not genuises are all those people that have been diverted from their true path.
Yes of course. What everybody’s chasing round for today is their true purpose. When they really ought to be doing it.
Whereas if Boehme had been an educated man he would have been less of a genius than he was.
Mmmmm. Hence William Blake saying, Thank God I never was sent to school to be flog’d into following the Style of a Fool. All external stimuli, all education, can divert you. Remember that in Zen Buddhism today, scientific education is forbidden, because it splits in bits, it’s an intellectual analytical process which destroys the thing you are looking for, the inner unity. It destroys all the possibility of that by filling the body full of external stimuli.
[A second talk begins here on the same IHS tape. May be better here to start a new tranny, Caroline?]
We have two educational problems here. We might have a bit of discussion round them.
Do you consider that education could be speeded up
so that children’s mental development keeps pace with their physical development?
Should they, for instance, spend four years
absorbing what could quite easily be absorbed in half the time?
It’s a funny one tonight. The second one related to it is:
Will the State, that is a hetman in control of the State, make any efforts to
educate the public in universal principles in the future?
Or will the evolution towards perfection
remain an individual or small group activity as it is now?
These two questions are very closely related. The hetmen controlling the State are not likely to make any efforts to educate the public in universal principles in the foreseeable future, certainly not for another thousand years, because of the difficulty of doing so. It would be very, very nice if they could educate the public in universal principles, but in fact the public, if the term is properly used, are not interested in universal principles. And one of the chief difficulties for State controllers is trying to persuade the public to be bothered about even general principles, quite apart from universal ones. So that we can say that it isn’t likely that the State will educate the public in universal principles in any foreseeable future, in the sense implied in the question. And therefore we can expect, as far as we are concerned, to act to work as individuals or in small groups.
Now the other question about the education of children, could that education be speeded up so that children’s mental development keeps pace with their physical development? This is a rather funny question, because the physical development of the child proceeds at a certain rate, and it would be extremely difficult to show what kind of ideas should be present in a child at a given age. How are you going to determine the relation between mental development and physical development? Is to be something to do with the growth of the child’s body, when the body gets bigger and thus the ideas cover a bigger area, and if so, what is the relation between the two? And how to state it, so that it can actually be done?
The ‘for instance’ here, would be even more difficult of application. Should they, for instance, spend four years absorbing what could quite easily be absorbed in half the time? This of course doesn’t state the kind of subjects that can be absorbed in half of four years, that is two years, and it doesn’t really go into the absorption capacity of a growing child. One of the things that is certainly dangerous, is to try to accelerate the development of any being beyond the natural tempo of its own organism. If you cram information into a child, verbal information, information gained by adults in particular fields, you can in fact stop the child’s organic development, stop its psychological and spiritual development by equipping its mind with concepts which the child will then believe it knows about.
Now if we know about a thing, or believe we do, we don’t have to do much about it. So that if we actually put into a child’s mind prematurely, concepts, we’ll say extreme concepts, those universal principles and so on, without practical physical application then all that would happen would be that the child would have a series of terms which would not in any way influence its action and the structure of its own being.
Let’s have a look at this idea, should the mental development keep pace with the physical development? There is an egg. In the egg there is a nucleus, and coming through this nucleus there are forces from the ancestors working out to develop the egg. What is the mental level of an egg which is going to be a human being later?
We’ve said before, that before the partition of the egg, the response of the egg prior to partition is protopathic. When a stimulus hits it, it simply respond with a ripple to it, it vibrates and responds to the stimulus, and the content of consciousness, its mental level is then simply the level of a being that is incapable of analysis. If we stimulate it simultaneously from many different points, the stimuli from all these different points will become confused. So that prior to the setting up of specific organs inside the body, the protopathic level of response says that information will be confused.
We can take this as the type of mental level of the cells that are not in contact with the nerves connecting it to certain coordinating centres of the brain. There are cells in the body which respond protopathically and they are responding in this very, very primitive level. Now when we get our first partition in the body – I’m ignoring the nucleus for the moment to simplify it – when we get the first partition and the stimulus comes from one side, it is more or less confined to that half of the organism. There’s a certain amount of vibration of the dividing wall which transmits a pale image of the information to the other side — but not sufficiently to orientate and force the body to respond in terms of action.
So when we put one wall inside the egg, then the mental level of this being has reached a first stage of analytical actuality. It can now analyse in some degree. That is, by means of this wall, it can have its whole mental content divided. Now it has a very strong stimulus on one side and the wall is insulating the being, so that the stimulus can’t pass through to the other side with the same vigour. It’s now got a double mental content, and one part of it is violently agitated by the stimulus and tends to respond to it, and the other part has only a gentle vibration, that transmitted by the wall itself to the other half. The part that’s gently transmitted can see the form of the situation, without having the imperative to respond to it. Now that is the mental level of a being with one wall inside it.
Now when we put a being with more walls than one inside it, two, one, then across, we divide the being again and we confine the stimulus energy to a quarter of the being. If we go on dividing and make that into many, many tiny parts, which is what happens to us at this stage, then when a stimulus energy comes into one part, it is confined to that part in its more intense vibrations, and it vibrates the enclosing walls a little bit, and there’s a shadow of the stimulus goes through the rest of it.
Now it’s obvious that the more walls we put inside the egg, the greater freedom there is in the egg from the necessity to react to the stimulus physically. So we can say that the mental level of this being is rising as we’re putting in the walls that divide it. Without the walls to divide it, we cannot expect it to rise above the protopathic level of response. It cannot choose until it is divided at least into two. And then when we go on multiplying these divisions the amount of freedom from stimulation grows in proportion with the number of the divisions. So that when a stimulus comes and it’s confined to a very tiny part, which we then call a cell — which is what it is, it’s a little chamber or room — that stimulus cannot force the whole being to respond to it.
That particular cell may take a very, very strong stimulus, absorb it and reflect it from its walls and actually itself perish and in that perishing of the cell, may be the salvation of the rest. It is fitting that one man should die for people3, it is fitting that one cell should perish rather than the whole body should perish. If you get a burn confined to a few cells in your body, a warning goes from that group of burnt cells to the rest and then they can run away from it without having to be burnt. If we put an anaesthetic in here with a needle, you can burn it without a warning going forth and then you may burn considerably greater numbers of cells.
And we can see that freedom increases with the partition of the body, and the mental level is going up with this partition. You know that in Bible terms, somebody says that Simeon and Levi slew a man to their own hurt by digging a wall4. And this erecting of the barriers between us, this digging of the wall by Simeon and Levi. Simeon and Levi mean emotion and perception, the two ways of partition inside the body. Once this process of dividing has started, straightaway two things have happened. You have a perceptual division, the stimulus can inform a given cell, but you also have the emotional response of that cell. The perceptual side of it is symbolised in Levi and the emotional response in Simeon.
And yet this perception is going to cut the body to bits, into separate percepts, and it is going to likewise cut the body into little packets of emotion, of likings and dislikings. Every little cell is a form and an emotional attitude. Every stimulus a cell has received in any part at any time is charged with liking and disliking. So you have the form of the stimulation symbolised by Levi, the emotional charge symbolised by Simeon.
Now if it weren’t for another process that goes on, the being would have all the little cells isolated, sealed off, so that each little cell would receive a stimulus and the other cells would be free from it. But they could not coordinate their activities in a directional manner, unless they laid down some coordinating processes.
And in the Bible symbology, these coordinating processes are symbolised by Joseph. Joseph throws a vine over the walls — the suggestion that we put a nerve connecting the two parts of the being that have been split. And there’s a nerve cell and it has grown in both directions and thus connected the two halves of the split. Now the nervous system is a system of insulation. It is not a means of communication, it is a means of non communication with the parts you don’t want to communicate.
Let’s have a look. If we have the protopathic state of the being, when the stimulus comes, the whole being vibrates to the stimulus. If we part the being, then the stimulus is confined in its most intense mode to one side, and the other is relatively free. Now we have to connect this stimulated side to the non stimulated side, and then we have a means whereby we can filter energy in a definite direction down a nerve, and that nerve is bound with insulating material.
Now in a certain stage in the growth of the human being from the egg this insulating material is not properly laid down, and then the reflexes in the human body are not those that you see in an adult. When the system of insulation is completed, and the body has been partitioned off and all the cells are separated off, by means of this coordinator we can connect the information from any group of cells to another group of cells, and cover the whole body either immediately or mediately through the nerves. And the nerves are little insulating systems, and you can imagine if you like, like a tube, if you insert energy down one end of the tube, the insulation stuff stops it spreading. So it can’t spread from the whole organism and produce a protopathic reaction, it has to go down and come out of the other end, and then makes the special connection with certain cells, certain organic groups.
So that by means of the partition we gain power of perception analysis, and emotional response to the analysed situation, and by means of the nervous system and its insulating devices we have a means of directing across these cells of various patterns the information gained by particular cells. One cell gets a stimulus and it responds and that’s very painful, and from that there goes a nerve which carries the information of this pain being experienced here, and from that one there may go another one to a muscle, which says, well, we’d better run away. Now by means of this system of division and communication, problems are solved that could not be solved in any other way.
Can we in fact put information into a child,
other than that which its physical level allows it to do?
Well, we see that if we confine ourselves to a simple egg and leave it to the protopathic level, information is no more than the stimulus of that, and this response is protopathic, so that whatever information we put inside it, is not analysed out at all, and therefore not insulated. The mental level of that being is that it knows the stimulus quality and form, but it cannot separate it out from other stimulus forms and qualities, and so the whole situation is confused. Now the mental level then is about the lowest we can imagine for a finite being. But it contains within itself the potentiality of unity, and later of integration. If we did not have this protopathic background, which is really our primary feeling background, we could never learn to integrate the forms, the ideas, the patterns which stimulate the various emotions.
In that case we could never expect to educate a child beyond the level of its physical body, because its physical body would have no complexities. The information we put into it would be that information, and the content of consciousness in that being would simply be that, throughout its whole self. It would be a unific being with confused information, and its physical level would be the same thing as its mental level. Now how can it happen that a being can have a physical level different from its mental level? The answer can only be that in the process of division, one part of it may have information which the other part is deficient in. Then the whole being can be said to be deficient in information in one part, and yet well-equipped in another part.
Now supposing we make this into a two part being, and put the extra part on for the head, and the spine, there’s a coordinator. Supposing we imagine this is a child, and this child has got to be educated. It has ears on the side of its head and it has eyes. We indicate certain propositions to it. A – when we utter a sound A – the message from the eye goes in and registers a shape. A message from ear goes in and registers a sound. These two are registered on different cells, that’s the Simeon and Levi division, but they’re coordinated also. That’s the Joseph vine over it.
Now we can fire information in here very, very quickly if we want, but unless that information goes down into the body and is translated into physical action, the other levels of the body will not be in correspondence with the mental level. Now it’s quite easy to do this on a child, you can recite algebraical equations to a child long before it knows how to count up to ten. And if you persist in it, you can make a parrot recite quite complex equations, and thus startle a professor of mathematics, but it doesn’t mean that the parrot knows what it’s doing. And in the same way it doesn’t mean that the child knows what it’s doing.
It’s all the same whether you tell a child it’s a genius — that is you utter the word ‘genius’ to a child — or teach her the alphabet. As far as the child is concerned, they are equivalent. Initially, they are quite meaningless. Later on, they’re going to be a source of trouble. If you recite the word ‘genius’, ‘you are a genius’ into the mind of a child without defining it, and without putting the child through the physical discipline to make sure that it is one, it will have a sentence inside it saying ‘I am a genius’ and later on when it comes to read some books, it will discover that a genius is a subject of great admiration in the world. So that the protopathic logic will say, therefore everybody worships me, therefore everybody should do as I say, therefore, etc. And it will become central at the conceptual level.
Inside here there’ll be a whole complex of ideas and yet in fact they’re quite meaningless. That is they cannot be translated into action by that child. We can stuff information, that is formal statements, into the brain of a child, and yet the child will have no physical capacity to correspond to. It’s no good saying to a child, born without legs, and there are such children, that you are the champion world runner. If you recite it, it will certainly recite it, and it will be reciting mechanically. And later on it will think that somehow or other it is a runner, and it will require to be treated like a world champion runner, even though it’s got no legs. And this can easily happen in other fields in less obvious cases. Any information that you put into a child’s brain, and yet do not see that the child carries this information into act, is so much poison.
That which is not put into action through the organism is poison. It doesn’t matter how good the concept is, if it is not news, it is so much energy non correspondent with physical performance. And in that non correspondence, there’s a strain between the parts of the organism that deal with action and the other parts that deal with intellection. So if we try to educate a child beyond the level at which its body can respond to the ideas, we are really sowing the seeds of future trouble. In fact, the great increase in schizophrenia and similar disorders today is no more than an attempt to accelerate the mental content way beyond that of the body actualising possibility.
Remember we have a three part being, with a prime drive, emotions and thinker.
And the prime drive here is deriving its energy directly from the food, and it is going to express itself in muscular, physical movements, and if successful, in a pleasure cycle, and if unsuccessful, thought will begin. Now, only that thought which grows out of individual failure in a physical situation is really valuable for that being. If you put information inside that head and the child has had no physical experience of the correspondence of that information, you have liberated a concept that can only do it harm.
If we talk about being level, first of all we have defined being as rotational force, and the being level in our terms here is simply the level to which a being has been raised by parting it, Simeon and Levi, and then coordinating the parts. Now we can, if we like, make a numerical statement of values.
[Finishes at 08:04 in the MP3 titled Education. There are 32:25 in this talk.]
2 Barbara Apollina Chalupiec (aka Pola Negri) was born in Janowa, Poland. Her first role was in the film, DIE BESTIE in 1915. By the time the war ended she had starred in the Polish production of SLAVE OF SIN in 1918.
3 Joh 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
4 Gen 49:6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.