There is an interesting question here tonight about non-attachment.
its one that we could really afford to think about probably for the duration of time, because it is very subtle in the way it expresses itself.
“The circumstances of life that we find ourselves in, we are surrounded by what we term possessions, and the existence of these possessions give rise to preferences as regards to type, form, value etc. If five-sense perceptions causing harmonic resonances with established concepts it indicates that one umbrella stand is better than another, does this constitute attachment, or does it only become attachment if the concept is invested with additional energy by identification?”
And this is tremendously important, we will deal with this before we tackle the second part. We are dealing with an idea that immediately involves duality. If we talk about attachment, we are talking about some mode of joining separate discreet beings. Somehow we have to tie together two beings to get the concept of attachment. If we were to consider one pure being, a pure continuum, the concept of attachment could not arise. So in the idea of attachment is necessarily the idea of detachment plus some mode of attachment. This is the identification of opposites again. The fundamental identity of opposites depends upon this diversity in unity with which we are continuously presented. The question is: Is it attachment to recognize the values of things And in the sense in which we mean it is not attachment to recognize that a screwdriver is better for screws than a hammer. We can make various kinds of judgement. We can judge the substance, the form and the function of things, and we can judge all these without attachment in our sense of the term.
If we consider the line I have just drawn to be a part of a very large circle and everything above the circle to belong to the observer – we’ll put an Eye over it – and to make sure it is serving Ob we will let the rays from the eye go below the line.
When we are talking about attachment, we are talking about (limituring?) of the observer to the observed. The “ob” in both cases signifies a sphere, but the server and the served distinguished, are two kinds. The observer is consciousness actually serving some object. The observed is the object receiving the energy from the consciousness. Now, consciousness can see quite easily without attachment at all. It can simply see, become aware of the nature of any object. There is a finite object caught within the beam of intelligence from the observer. The observer does not have to attach to the object perceived. If he does not attach, he will simply observe and say, “there is an object internal to consciousness”. But if he sends out the energy from himself and goes round the object and appropriates it and says “mine”, he has attached the object to himself. And in the process he has attached himself to the object. Remember Jesus says: “Where the treasure is, there is the heart also”. And in the Old Testament it says, “Where the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together”. Here is the treasure (drawing) and here is the heart, in the observer, the feeling that knows the object exists. If there is any energy flow to try to keep the object in being, an attempt to preserve it, to cause it to persist, then there is attachment. But if there is simple observation without any attempt to reinforce the object or to appropriate it, then there is no attachment.
Now, if we draw a series of objects, a square one, and a triangular one and so on, we can see that they have different qualities, the circle and the square and the triangle, different functions, different utilities. We can see all those different functions and their different utilities without attachment or with attachment. If without attachment, then we allow the circle is exactly as valid as the square or as the triangle. But if we start attaching ourselves to particulars, we will be detaching ourselves from other particulars. If for some reason we decide that a circle is more worthy of our attention, that’s a tension, a tension of energy, then we will tend to neglect the square. So if we devote ourselves to a finite, if we attach our energy to it and try to keep it in being or to make it more intense, then in the act of doing it to the circle, we are robbing the square and the triangle. So that we are particularising our consciousness and therefore reducing our universality. In musical terms you could say, let the triangle represent a chord with three notes, and the square one with four notes. Some people would prefer a chord with three notes and some one with four notes. And that preference is an expression of a particular bias. And it means a partial deafness to the other structures. We have actually found in the evolution of music that there is a definite tendency for certain peoples, certain observers of music, to prefer certain intervals in a chord. And some other people to try to preserve, to try to keep in being, other intervals.We know that certain temperaments are very fond of major intervals and certain temperaments prefer minor intervals. Now the whole being should be able to assimilate all conceivable intervals. And in order to do so, if he is to attach himself at all, he should attach himself to the whole, and to nothing less than the whole.
And one of the things about non-attachment which sometimes makes people a little nervous is the idea of detaching oneself from the universe as manifested in particular relations. A fear tends to arise if you consider detaching yourself from other beings. Because life is in relation. If the observer were to detach himself completely, then all beings would cease to exist. If an individual observer tries to detach himself, then he will succeed up to a certain level and then he will not succeed, because the cosmic observer is keeping things in being. An individual observer may be afraid that if he detaches his individual energy from an object, the object will cease to exist. That’s a fear that has been stated quite clearly to me by different people who at certain levels of exercise have actually felt insecure during meditation. One man actually thought that if he stopped concentrating on a ping-pong ball, in the middle of the table, that it would disappear. Because he had realised that consciousness keeps things in being. And for the moment he forgot that the cosmic consciousness will keep the ping-pong ball in being even if his individual consciousness takes off it the extra that it has given it.
So in order to master the concept of attachment we must see it as a relationship between two beings, and we must divide the observer from the observed, and let the observer be represented by one of the beings, and the object by the other being. And we will say that the Absolute has brought into being the Universe. As it says, “God so loved the world…”, the Absolute prefers the world to exist. And therefore he keeps it in being. And within the world, if there is the world (drawing), the big circle, and all the little circles are individuals within it, they all owe their being to the power of the Absolute rotating, yet each one is identified with its own limits and is to the extent that it prefers that finite individual to exist, attached. It is attached to the extent that it prefers that it continue.
Now a disappointed man wants to die (?). Having been born, he must die. If the individual form is stressed more by the individual than by the macrocosmic Self, it will merely mean trouble for the individual at some point. If the individual tries to make that being persist more than the Absolute wishes it to, all it can do is decrease its efficiency. Because in order to keep itself, it must try to contract. And the essence of its being is that it receives from the macrocosmic energy continuously, and the energy must go out. If it doesn’t go out, it cannot come in. Now, the individual, attached to its own being and having a value upon it more than that placed upon it by the macrocosmic Self, tries to keep that being in being by holding it with its own individual will. The individual will, holding, contracts and reduces the amount of space in it, actually the amount of space. You will find that when people get older, when they start hanging on to life, they start becoming compact and small. You will be surprised to find that in the later years of life, a man can lose three inches in height, not by stooping,not simply by bending the spine, but actually by losses in the body. The body shrinks, forces are taken away. And this increases the more the person hangs on as an individual. The mechanics of it are that in the process of contraction the door of escape back to the macrocosmic level is closed. And no energy can come in more than can go out. An elephant hunter said in one of his books that an elephant is a very large digestive machine whose sole business is making good at one end for the losses incurred at the other. He had watched them in the jungle. Now, an individual human being is just the same. It is losing energy all the time. And if it is prepared to let it go, it will be replaced. And as the individual evolves in consciousness to higher levels, the replacing energy is superior to the lost energy.
So if we are prepared to let the energy out, more will come in. But if through attachment, through over-stress, through the attempt to make a thing persist beyond that time appointed to it by the macrocosmic energy, then there must be a decrease in the in-flowing energy, because the contraction has decreased the outflowing energy.
Now, all the beings here represented in the big circle are slightly different. And being slightly different, they have different energy levels. And as they have stimulated each other in different ways, they have also got different formal characteristics. We can say, from a priori considerations that no two finite beings are exactly the same in energy content or character form. And therefore, when we come to consider the different individuals as functional beings, we can consider them as values in relation to those functions. In which case we can say in any given field, each being is superior to another being. And this goes even for a being like ….(?) It can do something that an ordinary human being cannot do. That it is too high to do, too sensitive to know about. And if you want to find out what it is you must have a conversation with it, …and you will find that it can do and does happily something that a man with his faculties cannot do, couldn’t even get away with. So the statement about the value as functional entities of these is quite independent of the question of attachment. We cannot help seeing the values to be different in all these different individuals and nevertheless we have to remain completely detached from them, in the sense that we are not to stress any particular one as more valuable than the rest. We are to leave the macrocosmic Self to stress each being as It, from its wisdom, from its macrocosmic total knowledge intends to do. From the point of view of an individual human being, if he values himself as an individual, as the supreme value in the universe, he must also start valuing the other beings in the light of his own purpose. So if that being were a triangular being and he found another being that was a triangular being he could ally himself to that and say, “we are triangles. And anybody who is a square we don’t want to play with.” And by using his own characteristic form as the raw information of the universe he could throw out, in his imagination only, not in fact, he could throw out all the forms that he personally did not approve of. So in the fact of attaching to his own particular form he would be attached to those forms which were in some respect similar to his own and similarly be detached from those that were different. If he thinks that the universe is fit for heroes to live in and he is a hero then everybody without the qualities of a hero is taboo in the universe. So the moment of attachment is a moment of detachment from those things which contradict the ones with which you identify.
When we talk about attachment we have a feeling there is a hook on it somehow. If we do two links, to put them together we have to put another one on it, - there is always this hooking, this grasping significance behind this attachment. The “tach”-part is like the “touch” word. And it implies a process where the very least you do is get hold of an object and pull it towards you. The hammer shape is like the letter T. That’s the very least form of attachment you could have, a pull, using this part, to bring a force to bear on the object that you wish to appropriate. The important thing to realise is that when you attach yourself to any particular whatever, you have automatically detached yourself from everything that contradicts that thing. In other words, you cannot make a particular friend without making a particular enemy of all the things that are incompatible with that thing. All things to all men cannot attach itself to any particular. So, the practice of non-attachment does not mean a refusal to see the relative values of things, the relative functional values, the efficiencies of things. It simply means that when you have seen them you don’t want them to be more valuable than they are. You don’t them to be more valuable than the macrocosmic stress is putting on them at that time and that place.
Now, we have said that LOVE, properly defined, is WORKING, that is the L, for the development of potentialities, this is the O. If we find a being inside the universe whose efficiency appears to be less than that which we think it ought to have, if we are thinking from an individual standpoint we can only be attaching ourselves to that other being and conceiving it as part of our campaign, as an individual campaign. If we detach ourselves from the individual purpose, look at the macrocosmic purpose and then look again at that individual at its functional level, then we may find, but not necessarily, that it is not as efficient as it will be in a few minutes. When we have had a few minutes conversation with him. But up to that moment it was quite right to be at that level. And thisis tremendously important. In the sayings of Thomas there is one of them which is identical with another one of an equal saying, which used to say when the master of life is light dies, then the light has gone out of the world. And it means to say that any individual who hasn’t worked himself up with identification and special stresses is reflecting the macrocosmic light. And he is seeing that another individual is working at a lower level of efficiency that it need. Yet he sees also that until he appeared there is no ground for supposing that that being should be more efficient. But on his appearance, in the light of the macrocosmic purpose, he can then give a stimulus to that one from the macrocosmic level, and that one will then become illuminated with an idea. Its level is then raised. And at the moment of raising it and not before, it should be raised just that much and no more. Now, if another being, fully identified with his internal forms sees that slight improvement to take place on a Tuesday at half past seven or something, and immediately thinks it should have taken place last Friday at two o’clock that is an imposition of an individual form, and if he then goes further and says, he is improved so much, then the only thing to do is make him improve even more. And no waiting please. This is all individual attachment. This is what tends to happen. A particular example, I know a little boy who is being pushed through an exam by some teacher friends of mine, because he is not very good, he is getting extra tuition. He was considered to be rather dull, and with a little bit of help he began to show signs, like any child would with personal tuition instead of class tuition, he began to show signs of understanding what the subject was about. And as soon as he began to show signs, it was immediately decided by his parents that he was a genius. And he must be pushed, and he must have more tuition. And that the tutors he got weren’t the best, because the improvement was not fast enough. So they suggested that he should leave those teachers who just produced this little improvement and he should go to a special forcing school. Now, luckily they have been dissuaded, because it was those particular teachers who understood precisely why that boy was backward, what kind of emotional tie he needed to bring him out, because he was attached very much in himself to certain functions which retarded him. He has been coached out, and then his intelligence can begin to shine. But it illustrates that the moment somebody begins to improve, somebody who is individually attached and conceives that litle being as part of the purpose of the other being wants the improvement to accelerate. And all in the name not of the little creature who has got to do the improvement but in the name of the person who has written his name upon it.
Now, we talked about the attachment of the observer to an object, and we said that the observer attaches to an object when he puts more energy into it, from the individual level, keep it in being to preserve it or to develop it, than the macrocosmic being is putting into it. There is another kind of attachment, not of the observer to the observed, so that the observer becomes part of the observed and involved in it, but the attachment of value to an object by the observer. And this can be done either from the individual standpoint or from the cosmic standpoint. Supposing we find a little innocent with a perfectly empty brain, he ran away from school and they never found out where he ran to. And he has been travelling the roads uneducated. So he is quite unsolid. Now, another individual, engaged in social work, with a lovely theory of the duty of man to man, might see that little waif and take him into a special home and there proceed to indoctrinate him. And another being, knowing the macrocosmic purpose, might also go that being just when he is about to go into the home for wandering boys, might suddenly whisper in his ear, and he may run back and hide in the lanes again. And he may then keep a little eye on him – in the name of the cosmic force. Now, the two are totally different. The individual one would have attached to that boy a series of concepts derived from the educational system, from social value. Social value is not made by looking at macrocosmic fact but by looking at the history of man on earth. Those will be finite and contingent values. And as this man might be aware of the macrocosmic purpose and deliberately put into that boy stimuli that would remind him of his cosmic origin. And the result is he might grow up to be a very good nomadic poet. Writing lovely poems and getting 3shillings and 6 pence a thousand for them. Until after he has been dead a couple of hundred years he suddenly becomes famous. People understand his value. Now they are both modes of attachment. The one is absolutely justified and the other is only relatively justified. In the social order this one would be justified, they are attaching concepts of good behaviour and fitting into the social pattern for that being. And yet that fitting into the social pattern may be the worst thing that could have happened to that being. It mght in fact stop his development through the whole of that life and possibly longer. Whereas the other one, by reminding him of his cosmic origin, and explaining to him why he ran away in the first place, what freedom is and what civilization is and so on, would so tie him in with the macrocosmic Self that he would shorten his term of trial. He would evolve quicker. It is again a matter of attachment. A concept here of social values is attached, and the concept here of macrocosmic values is attached. Now when a person, like a young child, has no conceptual mechanism to resist incoming concepts it receives whatever concepts come to it with nothing to knock them out. And this is why Christ says, “If you take a child and abuse that child, it is better for you that a millstone may hang round your neck. Because that child is a doorway to forces that are going to kick you because you have falsely integrated it into a social pattern. You have increased a time dominion. So that the great wheel of time and your own position in it, which is the mill-stone, is going to be tied round your neck more securely every time you mislead a child into worshipping the wrong thing.
One of the sayings of Jesus in that Thomas Gospel is, “Be ye passers-by”. It is a very short one, and it is a reference to the time-world. Inside you you’ve got a serpent. Jacob Boehme would call it ‘the old worm’. He was very rude about using it, the ‘worm-bag’, he called it, the greedy worm. If we just draw one, in its simplest form, it has a hole at one end and a hole at the other. Things go in at one end, and by a rippling movement in it it passes them through. And this rippling movement that is going on inside, passing all the matter through this tube is the same thing as biological time. Because there is a very peculiar relationdship between the particles of matter that go in as food, the time that it takes for it to get from there to there, the digestive process, the assimilation of the energies, all different characters from that food, nd the growth, physically and in understanding of that being. So that old tube is an emblem of the time process itself. Then you can understand why the time has been considered as an old serpent or a worm. When it says, “the worm diest not”, it is a reference to this process where the two ends are joined together in this stimulating system of the will. Once it gets its tail in its mouth it will go on sending messages round itself eternally. It will not die. Now, if it is in a good condition when it is doing, if it is relexively self-conscious with the best concepts it will be alright. And if it is not reflexively self-conscious and is nothing but envy and thwarted appetite it will be terrible. The issue where it gets its tail in its mouth and is very very greedy and tries to devour itself and cannot by the logic of the situation, that is called HELL. Another one of those sayings says, the disciples said to Jesus, ‘Tell us something about the end’. He said: ‘Do you already know about the beginning?’ Because the end and the beginning are the same. That and that are identical and presuppose each other. The whole meaning of taking in to the will-centre is in order to eliminate what you don’t want. You see, it is a mechanism for putting finites in and it is not discriminate at the point of its centre of intake, but the moment it gets inside it, discrimination starts. There is a process here of acting on it with certain chemicals and a bit lower down you act on it with an opposite chemical, then a bit lower down you act on it with the same as the one of the first part, and you are continuously attacking whatever you have taken in. And at different levels you attack it with different modes of action. And therefore at different levels you abstract from it different qualities, different substances, different characteristic energies. And the whole of it is the time process. Now, this is a kind of attachment; the attachment of a being to itself.
Another of the sayings in that collection is, ‘When the two shall have become one, when the male shall be as the female and the female as male’. Now, if we say at one end there is in-taking and at the other end there is extruding, we could write ‘Jupiter’ on the extruding and Saturn on the in-taking. And we know that those two are derived from a primal glyph. (?) and that by simply cutting the thing in half and taking the cross out we have given rise to the symbols of Saturn and Jupiter. The in-taking and the out-throwing. So they both presuppose each other. This in-taking presupposes space outside. That out-throwing presupposes space outside, and as this finite tube depends on certain vortical spins for its generation, the tube itself is generated by the space from which and to which go those materials. So that the tube itself is a function of the space. Now space, with the ‘ace’ in it, goes with spirit, and the spirit has developed for itself a tube. Now, if we look down this tube end we will see this process. If we draw it travelling like a helix through space, this is the meaning of ‘vor’, ‘bor’ ‘vor’ in ‘voracious’, ‘b-o-r’ in bore, boring. Here is an energy, rolling along and travelling and making itself in its passage a tube. And it is flying, always from the centre, as it does so. And it is for this reason that it is said that all the tubes in the body are a product of FEAR, because there is a flight from the centre. Now the centre is the saturnine compression. And the limit to which it flies is the distance at which Jupiter operates and then begins to fall again. So the saturnine would again get hold of it. Think of a force at a tangent, trying to fly off all the time, and that is Jupiter. Think of the force that is trying to bring it into the centre and that is Saturn. So there is peculiar hollow in the arteries, in the veins. You know the hollows in the body, they are zones of fear. Fear of being caught. And funnily enough, under certain fear states there are generated in the body such little emptinesses. The forces in the body start flying out from anything they don’t like. And that is an attempt to de-tach from an undesirable.
There are so many ways of looking at this attachment problem that we could draw on an awful lot of paper if we wanted to.
Now I said, we could go on for the duration of time to consider it. And it is very profitable to do so. Let’s take a personal angle. One of the things that most human beings have is a relationship with another human being. And the question of non-attachment is raised always with a very serious problem. If I detach myself from this relation, am I doing the right thing? Well, some of the early Christians ran away from their wives to devote themselves to the spirit. And after they had run away they found that the wife was still with them. Sometimes physically, as was Ramakrishna’s wife, remember, and sometimes in the imagination. But eventually, all these dear old chappies going in the desert returned to civilization and always, as Anatole France pointed out, too late to enjoy that which they had run away from. So there was a dialectical difficulty to be overcome. The story of ‘Ties’, Anatole France is worth reading from that point of view. Where a monk is informed it is a very very beautiful prostitute in the big city who needs saving. And he leaves his desert and goes off to save her. Now, the funny thing is that, although he has heard of ugly prostitutes before, it never once occurred to him to go and save one. And consequently, when he does go to save her, he is already lost, because he doesn’t know why he has really gone. He thinks he wants to save a very beauiful thing for the spirit. But she is very cunning, so after a lot of fiddling about she dies. And lying in her coffin she looks so beautiful, he suddenly becomes aware that it is too late for those wicked impulses, that he has been controlling for so long, to take advantage of the situation. And at that moment all these repressed impulses flood through him and he grabs her body in the coffin. And at that moment, all the nuns in the convent chase him away, saying rude things to him. That is the end of the story. It is a dialectical story about a man who didn’t understand himself and thought he was doing a thing for a motive that was totally other. Really, he was attached to two things at once: the idea of saving things for spirit and the idea of putting his name on the one that was worth saving. They are both attachment ideas. Supposing a man has married a woman (which occasionally happens) – (drawing) – there is the man married to a woman. Now, when he attached himself to her, as he fondly believes, he had a purpose, called ‘private’. But the energy of the purpose called ‘private’ came, like all private energies do, from a certain universal source. So in the first place, if he had not been attached, but not by himself, but by the cosmic forces, which had attached him to their purposes, he would have never had a funny chemistry that caused his eyes to rove and point. So the attachment in that case is by the universal. It is attaching to its own purpose that finite organism. And so he finds himself attached. We won’t consider the point of view of this half of the relation, because really he doesn’t have one. Not a point of view. It has a very strong will. But no point of view. It is a very hard doctrine, it should be in the hundred and fourteen sayings of Thomas, I think. Now, this is the creature that specialises in points of view. That is to say he is simply an evolved thing that goes wriggling about, darting hither and thither and banging his head on things, and in the process, a large drawing of the head and bangs, a sort of motion passes through the substance which being observed is called ‘point of view’. After innumerable bangings, it is quite a complex point-of-view system. All the Indian darshanas are just ripples on the brain caused by being hit by events.
Now, after he has been hit a sufficient number of times, there arises in his consciousness, by an entirely mechanical process as far as he is concerned, an awareness that there is a cosmic being with a purpose. And he then discovers that this energy which caused the attachment was not individual. And he then is faced with the problem of: Shall he continue a relation which was not made by him as an individual, but made through him by a force which had attachd him to its purpose, shall he continue that relation, as an individual? Now there tends to arise in him a belief that that relation must be stopped. But again, that belief is a product of mechanical stimulation, because the first sign that this thing is beginning to think at all cosmically, that is, towards freedom. This one, which had a secret hammer, concealed, under a checked loose coat, brings it out and taps him on the thinker to encourage the process. Now the funny thing is, there is what is called a ‘tacit conspiracy’, a silent conspiracy underneath all this. Every time that this one begins to fall back into a comfort relation, an energy shall come into this one, to wield the hammer. And the funny thing is, this one hasn’t got a point of view about it. It just uses it. And this one has a point of view about it, usually erroneous, namely that ‘it should not happen to me’. Already I am thinking clearly enough. Now, if we see here, when he becomes cosmically conscious and he becomes aware of spirit, he is presented with the problem, ‘what is the meaning of this?’ What is the meaning of it? It is a terrible time, because he will start delving into the meaning of it. That’s the same thing as going right back down here. And after a few years of doing that, assuming he hasn’t passed into Nirvana, he discovers that the problem is insoluble. And he is then presented with what to do with those energies which have arisen from the collision of various points of view in him and which have orientated him towards freedom, which is another word for spirit. Then the problem is raised, shall I cut off completely from that relationship with that being regardless from the effect on that being? Must occur to him. “Shall I have nothing to do with it?” because it keeps hitting him on the head with a hammer. Now, when that problem has been raised, he is usually in the state called ethically-minded. That is that he actually thinks that he has a duty to this being, to continue the relation. And the energies coming here, from the hammer, come up here, and through history they have built up a system of duties. So that all the duties are imposed on his being, as you would naturally expect in a man-made society. Because being, by definition, the superior being, you must necessarily have the superior duties. And therefore he is tied by this ethic to this other being. Now, if he goes on to the next level, he could say, “This being is stressed macrocosmically in a certain way, and this one is stressed macrocosmically in a certain way, and it is attachment to try to increase the stress on either. But he must take off the superstress that he laid on that particular being. And he must also take the one off himself. Now when this happens it does not mean that by that time he is ninety and that the cosmic energies of reproduction will look to him and say, no we will by-pass it, not in good condition, - those energies may still send up into him more reproduction things, saying this is one is so bright, we can afford to reproduce with you. So at the very point where is considering detaching himself from this – what is she, a Brunhilde – at that very point some more energies are coming into him and because he is detached from this one, but the energies are still pointing towards this shape, then he will find himself, if he is not very careful, orientated towards another one of those. And he will have, in relation to the new one, no memories of hammers descending on the head. So if he is not careful he will fall into a false evaluation of this one, thinking that one hasn’t got a hammer, I have known her for a long time, never seen her with a hammer. And so he would fall into a relationship with this one. And if he is very unfortunate and the relationship doesn’t become legal, he may not see a hammer. But if by any stroke of good luck he actually gets the thing made legal, then the hammer will appear immediately.
In the attachment, which is of this reproductive energy, to its purpose, through him and the conditioning in his mind by his relationship with this dear passive partner, there arises the detachment and the attachment simultaneously. In fact, no man can look inside himself, if he is perfectly honest and think to himself:”I am fed up with the wife”, without simultaneously in the corner of his mind seeing another lady without a hammer. Let him try, let him be absolutely, rigidly honest, and unless this reproductive energy has looked at him and gone away, he cannot. That energy will come, remember it’s not an individual energy, and while he is saying in all sincerity, “this life is foolish”, - you see, an old man said to me in the hospital today, 74, “Life was not intended by God to be a vale of tears and therefore I cannot think it is right for us to quarrel in this way”. The hammer-wielder in his case is 70, and he thinks he is above all that, and nevertheless he is not allergic to a smile from a nurse, which means that little energy is not turning away as it goes along. Now as a regular congregational church-goer we cannot discuss with him the fundamentals, because he will be profoundly shocked. That is the fact, that he still is a potential reproducer. And given a little encouragement would do so. He is attachd to this force by the force, and he is also attached by what is called the will of the flesh to comfort, self-indulgence, warmth, clean socks, and all sorts of funny things, and therefore he cannot associate in his mind with this other being. And yet this being is receiving energy to apply to it. Now, it is essential from our point of view to detach – (I am talking to the men in the room at the moment) – and the men and the women, I am not talking to women and the men. The men have to admit to themselves that if we divide the human being, like Thomas says in the Gospel, the male and the female, we shall say that the idea and the initiative are male, and that the feeling and the want are female. We have to divide these two. We can put, we have to be very careful about this, if we put the word “will” where the initiative is, we will have to equate it with the vowel “e”, the “e” in “wheel”. There it is, running through initiative, there is a lot of it. (Eugene knocks on the blackboard): That’s initiative, the application of a force of a point, newly, so that something new. Now, the man must never expect from this side, from the female side of his own being, or from the female side of another being, he must never expect idea-initiative. He must never expect reason, he must never expect logic- Because if he does, he will be deceived. And I don’t mean that one of those beings called ‘woman’ cannot give him a reason. She can. But it is a reason that she has borrowed from another man. Either from her father, her brothers, her boyfriends, and so on. She will tell you nothing whatever other than reasons taken from men of her acquaintance. So when you start arguing with a woman, we’ll say your wife for example, if you start arguing with your wife and she is replying to you reasonably, you are not arguing with your wife at all. You are arguing with all her boyfriends, brothers, father, grandfather and so on. If you remember that you will realize by the principle called the principle of …, by that principle you know that that being in the woman that is arguing will never give in to you because you are another man. You are arguing with men when she is talking reasonably.and consequently she cannot give in. Because it isn’t she, it’s he. And no man as such, that is no being identified over-stressing the male side will ever give way to another similarly stressed being. Because the energy from below and the energy from above have their purposes, and they work through the individual, and they bring together the spirit and the matter in this relation. So that whenever an idea comes through a woman, it is through a male, and if a man argues with it, he is arguing with another man. And all the ideas are put into this world, into expression and hammered together, in the act of discussion which means ‘striking together’, in order to test their validity, their strength in the situation.
Now, you can attach yourself to either or neither or both, and this is very very important. If you bcome free, there is no reason, no idea-presentation whatever that can compel you to act or to refrain from acting. A lot of men I know who have gained by reflexive action the free state have found themselves sitting down doing nothing and then said, “Why am I doing nothing?” and the answer is, “because you are free”. Nothing can constrain you to act if you are free, and therefore if you become free, you will have to use your initiative. Or nothing will happen. Remember, we take the five-pointed star as the symbol of the sense-organ man and the six-pointed one as the internal Logos and in the centre is the point of initiative. Ordinary men, men of orders it means, men who work by order, the order comes from the external stimulus, passes through the sense organ into the common sense that is represented by this internal five-sided figure, and the messaes from the different senses overlap in that common sense. They do not penetrate beyond this band in the middle, but they do overlap. And in that overlapping comes the evaluation of things. Experience of space applies the coordination of the eye, the sense of touch and movement. So you are involving three activities to get a sense of three-dimensional space. You look and you move about and you touch things. And by using these three modes you build up a space concept. Whilst all this happens to the man of manus, the man of the mind, the common sense, this continuous reaction back, which is entirely conditioned by the nature of the substance, that is a certain kind of material configuration called substance, matter is a characteristic mode of power rotating, and there is nothing in it whatever that is free. There is no freedom there. So the whole of the life of the sense organs consists of action and reaction all the time. And the man who is bound in that is a mechanical man, he is a dead man. If you want to become free, you have to penetrate beyond the individual sense organs, through the coordinator of them, the common sense, the manas, through that into the buddhi or pure intellect. Then we come to the Logos which is a polarised force represented by our two triangles and at the point of intersection of this buddhi or logic intellectual consciousness with the common sense of the mind arises the idea of individual existence. It is a construct. The individuality, the egoic consciousness is a construct caused by the seeping in of messages from the five senses and the outflowing energies of the Logos meeting it. This is why the Buddhists say that the egoic individuality is not permanent, it must dissolve, because it is a construct. And if we go inside here we come to the pure empty circle in the middle of the Logos which is the spirit immanent. And it is always in contact with the Ananda motions of the Absolute, which penetrate right through the being all the time. Those Ananda motions are uninterrupted motions, and because they are uninterrupted motions of the will they are called bliss. But all the activities inside the five sense organs are interrupted. And the whole of the five-sense life and the mind, the manas, is mechanical. But right inside, in the very centre, on the inner side of the polarity of the intellect, is the free. And nothing can constrain the free to act at all. Either it acts from itself or it will not act. So if a person detaches himself from the individual sense organs, then from the memories of the sense organs activities of his lifetime and then penetrates through the polar logic of the Logos, he comes into the centre of the free, not free-dome, this is free. Free and dome are opposite concepts. He is now free. If he sits in there, nothing will happen specifically. Except the continuance of his being, which is kept in function for a time by the macrocosmic Self. So he could sitdown there and say, well I am free, why am I doing nothing? The answer is because you are free. So the next step is to decide, from the free, what you will introduce into the world of the bound. Freely. Not by reaction. Now to do this, you will have to behave as if you attached yourself. And yet you mustn’t. This is what the Bhagavad Gita is about. How to behave as if you had attached yourself when in fact you haven’t. That is, every time you see something that functions well and something needs doing, you rather use the thing that functions well at it than something that doesn’t. Your Logos will tell you which functions best in the given situation, your free will will use that efficient thing rather than an inefficient one. And it’s rather a ticklish point, that. Because when you become free, there is no reason whatever why you should move. So that when you actually find yourself free, if you do not remind yourself that now only initiative, free action, will determine what is going to happen to you, nothing whatever will happen to you. You just leave your body there and it will vegetate. So that when you have got to the level of being free, then you must use your free or you will suffer the consequences of being free and not using it. Somebody will come and cart your body away and do something with it. They will, they do. I used to lock my body up in the room, so nobody could get at it. It is very necessary actually, to do that, when you are doing certain kinds of meditations. Otherwise people will come in and slap your cheeks and make you drink hot water and things.
So, the question of attachment needs an awful lot of thinking about. And the values of things, the functional values, the formal values, the idea values, aesthetic values and so on, all those are stresses, either of cosmic will or of individual will. If of cosmic will, they are cosmically valid. And if of individual will, they are individually valid. But the two are not co-incident, the cosmic one is going to win. Eventually. Some great men have not cared, and said about it may win eventually. Meanwhile I am going to win. By super-effort. And they have considered it worthwhile to accelerate the cosmic process. This is a matter for individual men to decide on for themselves. Because they have to do, as Christ said, which one of you, of all building, does not see whether he has the wherewithal to finish it. Because any job that you attack will require energy and the application of your intelligence, your idea and your initiative.
Now, when the two become one, when the male becomes the female and the female the male, then the work is finished. It means, to put it very very simply that when all the urges in you nd all the ideas in you point to the same object, without any deviation, then your work is finished. If your pure reason says something is worth doing, and the whole of your feeling and your desire nature wants to do it, on that coincidence, then, at that moment, you have attained what you want. The perfect balance between the two poles of your own nature.
Now, I will leave that question for a little later and look at the next one.
“At the moment we come here as individuals, to get and take what we can for ourselves. Will it always remain thus, or will some further plan and purpose, local not cosmic, emerge as we individual workers change level of being?” This depends entirely upon the individual, work done by the individuals. If we don’t work individually, we cannot work collectively. I said killectively, not collectively. Something has got to be “deaded” if we want to do any work. And if you don’t “dead” it, it will work you. One of the sayings in there is about the thing that is in you that isn’t you, and if you don’t get it. The dead elements are all the mechanical elements in you, and they are determining. (To a person present: “Would you like to read it out?”)
Jesus said: “If you bring forth that within yourselves that which you have will save you. If you do not have that within yourselves, that which you do not have within you will kill you.”
Well, that’s a nice paradoxical statement.
If you bring forth that within yourselves, that which you have will save you.
If you do not have that within yourselves, that which you do not hve within you will kill you.”
In or diagram here, That within you is within the inner circle and has to be brought forth. And if you don’t bring it forth, that which you don’t have within you, namely all this (Note of transcriber: the egoic self) will kill you.
This means that when we work as individuals, we have to kill all that that comes from the individuality. You know Gurdjieff said, that you may build your personality up to a certain level, and that is necessary to get some substance to work on. You can’t dig unless you have something to dig in. So if the child never developed a personality at all, the it would have nothing to dig in. But when it has been developed, then it has to be destroyed. And nothing can grow except out of the destruction of that round about. So just like an egg has a nucleus I it, and all this part of the egg round here is nothing but food for that nucleus. You know when a sperm breaks in to an ovum, its first job when it gets inside is to start eating. There has got to be an equivalence between the force of this and this before a balancing can occur. And all the body round about us is really food for our nuclear intelligence. So that which we have within, our intelligence, has to be brought out. And it is brought out by challenge. There must be an invasion from outside. A stimulus must come and attack us and shake us. And when we have been shaken enough, then from the centre will occur a reaction: we have had enough of it. It must stop. Now, that which is not inside, all this will certainly kill this, as far as the individual is concerned, unless that which he has inside, this, is brought forth. So if you take that centre zone as the light, it must permeate through the whole being, it must shine into all the dark places in the being, in the mind, and to the unconscious of the mind and so on. And when it has shone into them, then that which is outside starts corrupting, dissolving. And it gradually becomes light. And instead of becoming little pockets of resentment, which a civilized person is full of, as they are broken down, they go into their own places. Remember Jesus said, “Every man goes into his own place”. And all the inhibited little forces go into their own places, in the correct constellation within the nervous knitting of the brain.And when they have all gone into their own places, then the whole body is then said to be full of light. Because you look inside it there with no inhibition, no little zones of “Thou shalt not enter”, but everything instead of being locked up is now been played out into its proper place and the whole dome of the mind now has become enlightened. And that is equivalent to killing all the little treasures, all the little conceits, conceptualisations, all the little attitudes which we have towards people, things, situations, social positions and so on. All those things have to be killed. They have to be cut into and broken to bits. And simply because they have involved certain amounts of your will energy in them, to cut into it is always painful. So the amount of light that you get out issimply the amount of pain you have experienced in cutting into these pockets. And it is either…or. All those little attachments that you have made must be destroyed, or that light is not permeating through your being. And if it doesn’t, then they broadcast, they are not passive, they send stupid messaes all through the organism. They are called sub-ent messages. They send silly nervous impulses all over, stimulating different parts of the body, different strands and so on, different nerve groups, different complexes. And so constantly telling to cut the being in bits. When each individual has killed a sufficient number of those, he will have sufficient awareness of the work to be able to see just how his work overlaps with another being. Because we are all working on the same subject really. And group work is only possible when individual work reaches a certain level. Because prior to that level, there woudln’t be a group at all. There could only be action and reaction at the mechanical level. Thus saying the sub-ent movement the bringing together of beginners. They always produce a terrific lot of gossip and fight which is being a very disturbing element too. Those who won’t persist in the work will just get an idea that the thing doesn’t give what it promises. But there is nothing whatever in the universe that wouldn’t give you exactly the same thing if you devoted yourself to it one hundred percent. If I like to worship that carpet with all I have got, using the word ‘worship’ in the proper sense, I can understand the universe. Because to worship that carpet I would have to get to know all about it. I would have to take it home and unravel it. I would have to put it under a microscope, I would have to examine its chemistry. I would have to find those same chemicals in every other being in the universe to find out the full relations of the carpet with all the other beings. So it doesn’t really matter what we start with, but as long as we start with a hundred percent of what we have got. We are one, and our ideas are exactly coincident. And we keep them coincident. We make the feeling side of our nature feel like attending to the idea side. And we make the idea clarify what the feeling is trying to feel about. When we do this continuously, then we are called a divine hermaphrodite. ‘Divine’ because we can actually divine things that are quite closed to the merely mechanical reactive being.
Have we a final question on this? We have really only just touched on this attachmet problem because there is nowhere to which it doesn’t apply. And just when you think you are being non-attached, you may find yourself being attached to the idea of non-attachment. Which is very very subtle and can easily trip you up. Because if you get attached to the idea of non-attachment as such, you could cut yourself from the rest of the universe and attach yourself to the idea of non-attachment. When you do that you start to die, to become dry, like a stick. And it has been said by the leaders of certain schools who recommended attachment to non-attachment that their ideal was to become a dried stick. But then, while they were being dried sticks, some members of other schools came and started a fire with them. And that’s what they said about them. We will make a fire with you dried sticks.
Question: “The things that if you allow what we call ‘good taste’, then this very quickly becomes translated off into attachment. And yet I presume a good taste can exist, I mean it does exist, and it is good that it does.”
Eugene: That’s only good taste, but there is better taste, and best taste.
Eugene: Good taste is that which has to to with the assimilation in particular situations. Because every society has a different assimilation pattern. And the good taste in a given society is really determined by the social contents. It is good taste if you are, say, use a knife and fork…you see, and a person who doesn’t know that fact would be surprised to find that you shouldn’t rest your left hand on the edge of the table while you are picking up your fork and eating with it. And so on. So, those are relative to the social structure. Those are only good tastes. Better taste has to do with the law. In its proper sense, the cosmic law. But that isn’t best taste. Better taste is when you are able to assimilate the behaviour of all societies, so that when you are going to dinner with some nomadic Arabs who are fond of you and they give you a nice new sheep’s eye, which is a delicacy and you should eat it, you will know how to get away with it. Even if you don’t eat it. You will have some awareness of the cosmic law, that’s better taste. And best taste is when you are free. Because you then know exactly what spirit calls taste. It can introduce quite freely something that cuts right across the better and the good taste and still gets away with it. So it isn’t a question of doing away with good taste. It is a question of increasing taste, making it better and then best.”
Q: Yes, I approached my question rather badly. I was thinking more that when one observes nature, certain harmony patterns tend to be more easily perceived than others; in other words, certain concords more easily than discords. And translating these into material objects one has what I suppose one would call a preference for certain cords, because it expresses harmony to would express a discord from a concept point of view.”
Eugene: Yes, that’s again a question of individual assimilation. And the thing is to be able to assimilate more and more, until you can assimilate the totality of all possible sounds simultaneously.In the chord that somebody struck once on an …never …again. It can be done. And if you do assimilate that cosmic chord, you will hear a peculiar thing about the discords. And that is to say that in relation to it, if you played “C” and “C sharp” toether, but not at the same intensity – supposing we play very very strongly “C” and “C sharp” so very very very faintly that an untrained ear could not hear it, the “C” will sound better.
Q: Yes, I see.
Eugene: You can actually do that.
Q: I can appreciate that, yeah.
Eugene: You play one of your big strong notes, and your violin-playing friend plays double pianissimo, so that it is nearly inaudible, but not quite, you will suddenly discover the meaning of discord. You see, discord should never be at the same intensity. And when they have got the right difference of intensity, they are exactly right and delightful. And you know that that must be so because when a string sounds, it’s fundamental, every note on it sounds. And all the different intensities. And it’s the totality of those discords, because they are all adjacent notes, aren’t they?
Eugene: It’s the totality of those discords at their proper intensities that constitutes that one fundamental. And the discord is the salt of the dinner, isn’t it? But you don’t want too much. And it must be at the right intensity.
Eugene. There is a good field for experiment there.
Eugene: Perhaps you might do a bit of practice together, will you?
Q: Try to.
Eugene: And then you might bring your relations down and …give us the fruits.
Eugene: Would be very interesting to see that.
Eugene: It really is amazing, you know, because the real thing that we enjoy is a shadow of danger. You see? For instance, if there is very lousy weather outside, yes? And you are inside, the lousy weather outside sounds marvellous. And if the universe itself were not a closed system, then we couldn’t really enjoy the Edenitous phantasy beyond it. And that phantasy is a zone from which poets and musicians are drawing all the time. By inserting bits of it into the cosmic set-up insofar as it is already ordered. And that phantasy, if it is not too big, too strong, people enjoy. But if it starts to dominate their order, they panick. But phantasy is another word for discord.
Q: Hmm. Yes.