Operators and Things (231)


The Psyche and Protoplasm. 3

Form and Space. 3

Hypnosis. 3

Subsidiary Entities. 4

Pursuing The Space Between. 4

Operators and Things. 4

Transcendence. 5

Right. 7

Vocabulary and The Conditioned Reflex. 8

Adequate Knowledge. 9

Virtue. 9

Adultery. 9

Prodigality. 10

More on Words. 11

Inertia and Exertia. 11

Human. 11

Watching the monkey jump. 12

Identification With Categories. 12

Cybernetics — The Human Use Of Human Beings. 12

More On Vocabulary. 13

Sheep and Goats. 13

Male and Female. 14

Synonyms. 15

Democracy. 15


Operators and Things (231)

Transcribed by J. Bailey (Aug 2001)

With diagrams and arbitrary headings by J. Bailey


[Eugene often begins by reading written questions handed to him at the beginning of the evening.]


We don’t seem to have any questions tonight.




[A member of the audience asks a question.]

In a book by someone who has recovered from schizophrenia, he mentioned this business, that there’s a certain stage in schizophrenia where they appear to become psychic and begin to be able to read the mind of the psychiatrist, sometimes to the discomfiture of the psychiatrist. I wonder if those people are getting through to centre when they are in that stage.

Let’s have a look at the mechanics of it. Here we’ve got a very short, simple diagram of the human psyche. And we have a circle to represent the limiting factor of the individual. If we know that this limiting factor is merely a rotation of force within a field, and therefore the limit is merely a functional one determined by certain frequencies, there is no actual separation between the paper underlying the diagram and the paper beyond the diagram. So there is factually a field of Absolute Consciousness internal to which these individuated beings appear.

Now if there were only one being, we wouldn’t have a problem at all. But because there are beings plural, therefore contingent stimulation can arise. But if your sense organs are stimulated then you record inside each sense organ what that organ has actually experienced. So you get a five-fold record of experiences and you also get a record of the coordination of these five sense stimuli complexes. And then inside you have your intellect which can analyse them aetiologically and is superior to the common sense, which is simply the pentagon form symbolising that which is common to the five senses.

Now if you stimulate any being simultaneously from two sides, and the stimulus level, the energy input, is very great and of a different frequency, you can cause the tissue here to rupture. In the case of an amoeba which is generally adapting its shape all the time to the external stimulus situation, he puts out a pseudopod, a false foot, towards a food particle, and then flows round the food particle. We say this is a positive taxic reaction. It also flows away from painful stimuli. And if we give it two pleasant stimuli on opposite sides simultaneously it tends to become attenuated. But if we surround it with painful stimuli it tends to contract into the form of a sphere. [3:28]

Now, in the same way, if we stimulate the protoplasm of our being from many different angles with various characterised stimuli — a, b, c and so on, and we over-stimulate it so that it cannot assimilate them at all, it begins to be ruptured by the incoming stimuli. And if these stimuli are of totally different characters so that they cannot integrate together, the result is that the being tends to split into separate zones, each zone characterised by the stimulus energy dominating in that zone. Now, if we carry this to its term we can say that we are splitting the being into separate entities, and these separate entities are the many minds or multiple personalities that we find in certain mental disorders. We can only get this multiplicity providing we feed the data in, in a haphazard unintegrated manner and at various strengths so that they cannot be assimilated together.

Luckily for us we have a nucleus, which in fact is impregnable to an external stimulus. This is our essential being ... our Inner Self. In the case of a man who becomes split into many parts, the field of this man may eventually come to be more important to the content of consciousness than any given complex of ideas.

We’ll make this as simple as possible. Here is a being — I draw a circle. Imagine we cut this being into three beings by subjecting it to three orders of stimuli which are not capable of integration. The being tends to rupture into three beings. Now if the rupturing process goes on quite a lot, the gap between these personalities widens, and the being then has a zone created inside it which is not objectively aware at all. And if we go on cutting this being and stimulating it with pain, just like the amoeba contracts under a pain stimulus given all round it, so each one of these subsidiary entities will contract inside the being, and that will leave round each of these subsidiary entities a large field of activity not characterised in itself. In other words we’ll be increasing the amount of free space inside the being as a whole. [6:29]

The Psyche and Protoplasm.

Now instead of talking from the materialistic standpoint, we’ll talk about the psyche itself. We know that the protoplasm depends upon the psyche for its sensitivity. The protoplasm is only so much matter. But this matter depends on the psyche, the feeling Sentient Power that holds that matter together. If we now talk about the psyche itself, we see that the psyche can identify with any number of idea complexes. But if these idea complexes within the psyche are made very, very painful, the psyche contracts on them and tries to drive them down to infinitesimally small points.

Form and Space.

Description: schizophrenia2Supposing for a moment it succeeds, so that we have a psyche with very tiny little points of form contracted within it, then we also have a psyche with a large amount of free space in it. And this free space is that which is not finited by the complex ideas that are painful, and because of the continuity of the substance underlying this psyche, here represented by the white paper, therefore this psyche is becoming aware of motions originating from any point in space whatever. So that the individuated psyche there, driven by schizophrenia into compressing its formal content through pain, becomes progressively more and more like a pure psyche, like a psyche with no content of its own. And at this point any other entity round about it broadcasting individually will send its characteristic motion into the psyche of this schizophrene and as his own mental content has become hammered down because of its painful nature, he will become progressively more and more unconscious of his own individuation complexes and more and more prone to receiving other individuated elements from outside.

This accounts for the telepathic phenomena that we find which we’ve just found to be the basis of this question. [8:49]


This was also found in hypnotic subjects, hysterical subjects in the most famous of the French hypnotic schools, where patients who were continuously hypnotised and thereby de-individuated found that they were able to tell where the doctor was when he was away. And they could recite that he was with Mrs. So-and-so and did such-and-such and this caused the doctor to think very, very carefully about whether he should hypnotise anybody so often that they would know where he was.

Now we see here in this schizophrene that kind of thing that we are looking for when we are practising Yoga, namely the disintegration of the individuated complexes with which one normally identifies, and which keep one in the state of individuation.

If we want to gain Absolute Consciousness we have to transcend individuation. And the funny thing about the schizophrene generally is that he is intelligent. That is to say, he has a large number of ideas inside himself, fairly sharply defined and therefore disparate and this gives him a kind of brilliance. [10:00]

Subsidiary Entities.


Imagine we take a pure piece of protoplasm with no knowledge at all. Supposing we give it a stimulus, and that stimulus is the knowledge of mathematics. So we insert into it a large zone of mathematical knowledge. Supposing we now give him another education and this one gives him a large zone of knowledge of religion. And we give him another stimulus, and this gives him a large zone of activity of art. And another zone of science. Now, unless he gets an integrating concept to tie together his science, his art, his religion and so on, these things will react independently as if they were entities in their own right. They are subsidiary entities. In a real sense they are as valid as any individual is in the universe. That is to say, insofar as they function separately they must be considered as practical individuals. They are subsidiary entities acting with their own awareness and therefore are subsidiary personalities. [11:13]

Pursuing The Space Between.

Now, if we again stimulate inside any one of these complexes we can subdivide it again, cutting the religions up into primitive religions, modern religions and so on. Every time we cut into a given complex we analyse it and in the analysis we create space because ‘analysis’ means we are loosing the motion. This ‘ana’ thing means ‘a runner’ actually. And the root ‘lys’ means ‘loose’

So this ana-lys-is means that these running motions are going to be loose from each other.

If we get an idea and analyse it and separate the parts we then have space between the separated parts. Now this space is the ground of our clairvoyance, the ground of telepathy, and the ground of our magic, and so on. This is the interspace in the exercise we have discussed before. In the case of an advanced schizophrene there’s a tremendous amount of space, with a lot of very painful, sharply contracted ideas within it. Through the sharply contracted ideas he is reacting in an individual way and is considered to be insane, which means unwhole, unintegrated. But in relation to the space that he has discovered within himself, he is literally superconscious. Now, if he knew that he was superconscious and shifted the accent of his consciousness and Will into the space between, then the schizophrene elements in him, the unintegrated idea complexes, would begin to find their own places by resonance. And then he would go through what is called a spontaneous cure ... which sometimes happens in schizophrenia.

The important thing here is that he going accidentally through the same kind of thing that one goes through deliberately in cultivating, by means of sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation, contemplation ... the same thing that the yogi is pursuing, namely, the free space which constitutes his absolute essential being and the ground of his freedom. [13:31]

Operators and Things.

One schizophrene, talking about his own processes said,

I think there are two kinds of people in the world. In fact I feel uncomfortable about calling it two kinds of people. I don’t like the word ‘people’ and I’m going to reject it and say there are two kinds of beings walking about on two legs, and one of them I call ‘things’ and the other I call ‘operators’. And a thing is one which is pushed about by an operator, and an operator is a being that can push a thing about.

Now, he felt very, very strongly that here was a case in his own experience where sometimes he felt impelled to do something, by something other than himself. And he heard a compulsive voice saying, do so-and-so and so-and-so. And he knew that it was not that complex of ideas to which he referred when he said  “I,” and that it was terribly strong and could overthrow him periodically, and that in relation to ‘it’ he was a thing.

And thinking about it within his brilliant split mind, and identifying with the space within, he decided there was a supreme operator, “which,” said he, “is no doubt God,” and there are many things about the place, things within space, which believe they are individuals but really they are only things. [14:59]


 So he divides the universe up into ‘Free-will Consciousness’ called ‘operator’, and non-free-will non-consciousness which he calls ‘thing’. And he insists that bipeds that cannot determine their own behaviour are not operators, but things. What he has discovered is that if you become aware of the space inside yourself, you can break identification with any given idea complex, and in the act of breaking identification with it ... you become free. But in that free state you might say something which, because you have been defined as mentally ill, savours of the transcendent, or as they say technically, you are paranoic about it. You’ve gone beyond the limits of mind as it is known, and therefore you are para-noia. You’ve gone beyond [para] that intelligence [nous] that they know about ...therefore you must be crazy.

Now it’s precisely within this transcendence that the pure wisdom of the sick person appears. Gradually he begins to work out his problem. Possibly, if he were not interfered with at all and put on a desert island and left to his own devices, given time, the resonances of his own complexes inside, would arrange themselves and he would return to health in splendid isolation.

We know of cases in which this has happened spontaneously. We know of one or two cases, where a being that has been isolated because of this kind of disorder, has been found to be recovered when re-examined. Deprived of the external stimuli, the internal has sorted itself out into its own peculiar hierarchical order. [16:53]

So shortly, we can say this: that if you take any finite being and analyse it, in the act of making the cut and pushing the things apart, you are increasing space within it. So as you cut with your knife through and through, the thing is becoming less and less opaque. If you cut an apple with a knife, and keep on cutting it and cutting it, you’ll finish up with mush. You destroy the hardness of it. If you cut it further still you’ll cut into the atomic level, and if you cut deeper still you’ll cut into the energy quanta, and they’ll suddenly disperse as motions of the field. This is the kind of process that is going on in the schizophrene, but which carried to its ultimate term, would result in Absolute Consciousness. We find that the people who have had the greatest experiences of cosmic consciousness have frequently been defined by psychologists as psychopaths, or as schizophrenes ... certainly as suffering from some kind of mental disorder.

I have a folder from Allen and Hanbury’s, the drug manufacturers, to which it says of William Blake, Prophet, poet, mystic writer, artist, and so on, saw visions and painted them. It gives a wonderful description of all Blake’s work and then it says at the end, You can avoid all this by taking our product called ‘so-and-so.’” [Laughter from the audience.]

Now this is said quite seriously. Allen and Hanbury’s have produced it. They are saying that any person whatever who transcends ordinary consciousness ... requires drug attention. [18:52]

[Comment from Khen Ratcliffe] But this would suggest though that the schizophrene would require somebody with a vocabulary to be able to clarify this for him if he doesn’t have it himself, wouldn’t he?

Well it would help if he had. It would be a shorter ....

Otherwise he wouldn’t be a schizophrene if he had a sufficiently extended vocabulary to be able to handle all the pieces.......

Yes, he wants the link factors in the vocabulary.

Even so, even if he sees, as your Asian did, this concept of an operator and a thing, although he’s come to the term, ‘operator’ and ‘thing’ there may be a confusion arising there, if he begins to identify with the thing himself, mightn’t he, by conceiving this as operator instead of thing. So it require that he still requires this external help or this external vocabulary to enable him to link the whole lot together.

Yes. The vocabulary of course would tend to arise spontaneously within himself in time, if he were not acted upon from outside by defining beings, with systems of psychology, to categorise him.

Like the deaf boy ...

Yes. Is that sufficiently clear, about that?

[Contribution from the person who originally handed Eugene the question on operators and things] Incidentally, the book I’m speaking of is called, “Operators and Things”.  

Is it really?



[Chuckles form the audience]

I wonder where that came from.

It’s the kind of concept that I’ve found in a lot of mental patients — that they are telepathic — that there’s a kind of jargon going about amongst them. That many of them understand each other, and can help each other, and some of them have a very dim opinion of the men in charge, who are busy disbelieving some of their experiences, which they believe are quite valid. And this does not mean that some people are not bonkers.

[More laughter]

Have we another one? [question] [21:04]



[A question from another member of the audience.] Using logical terms of reference Gene, can one find within one word, a subject and a predicate?

Yes. As soon as you’ve defined a word you’ve necessarily found a subject and a predicate. If you don’t define the word, it isn’t a word for you ... it’s just the occasion of a reaction. If we remember the word, ‘word’ itself, it means a power ordering.


W —





Then straight away we have already a subject and a predicate. Now if we don’t know that this is the meaning of the word, we don’t have any power to act ... we are passive. The word hits us, and produces a change in us entirely by its own peculiar resonances and association links. But that would mean that you would be a thing and not an operator.

So obviously, as the essential character in the human being consists in certain qualities, certain awarenesses, one of which is manipulation of words, and the words require to be defined in order to be manipulated accurately ... then a real understanding of a word cannot be gone into too seriously, or too deeply. There is a dreadful tendency not to bother about the words, not to think about the words, not to use a dictionary, not to find out the etymology, and so on. But insofar as one doesn’t, one is missing the key to freedom. Where it says that ‘Jesus’ is the most excellent name[1], it is making a statement that comes straight out of a secret tradition, to do with reflexive self-consciousness and the possibility of freedom. It isn’t just a figure of speech to say, His name is the most excellent name, because His name actually signifies saying “yes” to no. The first part of His name means yes [Je] and the last part means no. You can see this most obviously in the Hebrew[2] where the final terminal letter, the ayin, means no, means refusal. And the first part means affirmation. So you affirm the negation. Now that is the most excellent name.

Now ‘name’, as we’ve seen before, this ‘nam’ root is the reverse of ‘man’. MAN means ‘to evaluate’. The base is:

MA —

N —

To measure.

The motion, the continuance of the measurement.

Man is a continually measuring being. He measures by means of naming. He can’t measure unless he makes himself a foot/pound/second. He must have some kind of system, a length measurement, a weight measurement and a time measurement, otherwise he can’t measure. So he must name the entities in his consciousness in order to apply them. And if he does name them and then applies them, then he is a man.




Slavery to:


Virtue or Right;





To become cosmically aware



Breaks out of slavery


To become aware of his power



Counting process


To evaluate



Desire nature


To run about



Force of inertia from the earth


To grow





To lie about



Coming along in the car today as we were going to a certain inquisitionist’s, who survived from Spain long ago, we talked about the mineral world, and then the plant world, and then the animal world, this is an animal [Eugene is referring here to something he has drawn on the roll of paper], and then the man world, and then the human world, which is another man up here with a halo on, and then the divine world above that.

Now, the word in the New Testament, translated right, is a word which simply means being. It comes from a root meaning being, so that a being is right when it is being itself. This is the rule against adultery. If you add something to yourself which foils you reaching your ultimate, you are adulterated, and thereby you are less being yourself than you were, and therefore less right. A being is right when it is being itself.

So we say the right of a stone is to lie around the place. That’s its right, simply to be existent.

And the right of a vegetable is to grow out of that stone, to spread itself out, to change its form by absorbing from within, and pushing out.

The right of an animal is to run about.

The right of a man is to evaluate.

The right of a human is to become aware of his power, and reflexively conscious.

And the right of a divine being is to become cosmically aware.

Those are the orders. They are different levels of being.

If we haven’t got a term, we cannot climb out of the conceptual group that is already imposed upon us. Factually we come into the world as eggs, and these eggs are potentially anything. And if they didn’t get a superstress on them from an external stimulus of some order, they would simply remain potentially anything, and particularly nothing. They would be all-wise ignorance if it were not for the external stimulus coming to them. And the initial stimulus coming to them characterises them in such a way that all subsequent stimuli are modified by the first one. [26:47]

Description: stimulus.jpgSupposing that we say “here is an egg.” And it is the rule in Yoga that a person knows what a thing is by changing the shape of his psyche, so that he feels what that being is. Supposing we give this spherical being a stimulus and the stimulus we give it is a pyramid. So it assumes the shape of a pyramid. Now it’s lost the shape of a sphere by taking the superstress, pyramid. Supposing that is its first experience, a strong pyramid stimulus. It becomes a pyramid. The next one hits it while it’s in the state pyramid, and perhaps this one is a square. Now this square one fights the pyramid but the pyramid fights back and the result is a hybrid form. The pyramid is distorted by the square in some way. If we now fire a crescent shape at it, this will distort it further. But the initial superstressing stimulus is going to condition all subsequent stimuli. [27:52]

Vocabulary and The Conditioned Reflex.

Now the strange thing is this: that apart from language, the law of association in the mind would not be very damaging. Supposing we take an example. Supposing there is a primitive man, and there is an earthquake. And he sees the earth open up and his mother-in-law disappears down the crevice. Therefore then he bursts into tears and has a mental photograph of what happens when the earth opens up. Now that is a particular thing. Supposing he has no word for it. All he actually sees is disappearance of loved one down a crack in the earth and that’s all he can react to. So unless there is another crack in the earth at another time, he cannot be frightened by the memory of the first time. So that if there were no words whatever we could only be frightened by identical situations with the original one that frightened us. If there were no words at all, physical pain stimuli would be needed to educate us. Emotional states are the products of physical pain stimuli — using physical not merely as gross matter because the root of the word physical comes from the word meaning to grow, the Greek equivalent of the Latin nature — and we would find that we couldn’t get into much trouble because we would require a physical stimulus of the same order as the first one to reduce us to a state of fear.

But as soon as we introduce vocabulary we’ve done a very peculiar thing. We have allowed ourselves to associate together elements that have no necessary connection, no external objective fact. Thus if we take the concept of a centaur, or a satyr, or any mythical animal, we are talking about something that never existed in the external physical world, and which nevertheless can occupy the mind of a schizophrene with very great vigour. [30:07]

As soon as we compound two words together, we fuse together the referential values of those terms in our mind. So that if in effect we take an egg, which is irritable or reactive, we shout the letter ‘A’ in the ear of the said sentient sphere and at the same time we apply a hot poker to it. Now because it hears the ‘A’ and feels the pain simultaneously then the presentation of the sound ‘A’ will conjure up the sensation of being burned. And yet it has nothing to do with it. This is the principle we call conditioning one’s reflexes. And a man, generally speaking, is a bundle of conditioned reflexes.

Now, if we fire many stimuli together into a being, and one of them is painful, the painful one will always be restimulated when any of the other elements is represented. This is the ground of the propaganda of a lot of religion, of a lot of state orders, and so on. First you get hit, and something is shouted to you. Subsequently, when it is shouted, you feel you are being hit, and you obey to avoid this physical damage. Later, because of physical damage, you can be made to go into an emotional state and the word repeated when you are in an emotional state, perhaps the words, I told you so, that always happens to bad boys ... with such a formula you can restimulate the memories of pains, and create emotional conflict. Now, without words we can’t do this. With words we can. [32:00]

Adequate Knowledge.

So that insofar as a man has not got all his vocabulary accurately defined, he is passive to the effects of that vocabulary upon his being.

When Spinoza said that,

“Adequate knowledge = activity,” and

“Inadequate knowledge = passivity” ... he meant it.

An adequate knowledge is verbalised knowledge, with all the elements of it adequately defined. And if we don’t define them adequately, then we are inadequate in our definition, and our response is deficient.


Let’s consider again the virtue of a stone. It’s rightness is to lie about the place.

The virtue of the plant is to break down this stone and assimilate it and grow. The plant feels. And it feels that it must grow outwards and carry with it the matter upon which it stands and in which it is rooted.

The animal not only feels, it desires. It has pleasures and pains. It responds to stimuli, by running towards them if they are nice and away from them if they are not nice.

A man is simply the same thing as the mineral, vegetable and animal — plus the ability to count. But the ability to count is entirely mechanical. He is still a slave.

The stone is a slave to inertia.

The plant is enslaved by the force of inertia from the earth and by feeling.

The animal is enslaved by the force of inertia from the earth, by the feeling of the plant and by its desire nature — its likes and dislikes — and it runs about getting what it wants and avoiding what it doesn’t want.

And the man is enslaved by the mechanical processes in him called counting.

Now human is supposed to break out of this slavery. He must not only evaluate, he must get control of his own Will. He’s a Het man. He’s a power man. He must get hold of what ‘H’ signifies and he must transcend a merely mechanical counting process, and turn the power of his own Will back upon himself, so that he can in effect inhibit the responses of the stone, of the vegetable, of the animal and the man. He must be able to drive himself in a way that an animal can’t. He must be able to drive himself towards a painful thing, away from a pleasant thing. [34:38]


[A question from the audience] Gene, in the transitional stage from man to human, is adultery being committed? Or what is right by definition for the person in that transitional stage?

This again depends entirely on the correct use of terms. Every term has a significance. If we take the term man — and this is where Aristotelian logic will not help us very much in dealing with the concrete situation — the term man is to be applied to a being that can count, evaluate, and continues to count and evaluate. Now as soon as we talk about human, we are talking about a being that has transcended the mere counting, and has become aware of himself as a power. He is able to interfere with this process of counting by act of Will. He can stop it. He can start it. And at the precise moment when he’s gained a tiny bit of awareness of his own power, he’s gained a tiny bit of HU-manity and at such moment, the title Human is permissible — for the moment. But he will not be a fully realised human until he can do it all the time.

Now, is it adultery?

If we are adding water to the milk and pretending we are selling milk, that is adultery. But if we want a drink of water, clean, and somebody gives us a glass that’s got somebody else’s left over milk at the bottom, then the clean water has been adulterated by the milk. So the question of ‘what is adultery’ depends on what we are Willing to have. And anything other than what we Will is adultery.

So if a human Wills to be man at a given moment, it would be adultery for him to distort the counting process by arbitrary act of Will. So when he’s Willing to be man he will accept that triangles have three sides. But if he wanted to transcend that and be human, he would have to say for arbitrary purpose of his Will that triangles do not have three sides, that he can in fact make a spherical triangle which, as the curvature of each side’s so great, that the three of them constitute a circle, which is no triangle.

This is quite a simple matter. It sounds queer. We draw a straight line triangle. But supposing we draw this on the globe. The sides are curved. Now everybody would agree that it is a triangle with curved sides. But if we start pushing the curvature out, at a certain point the three curves make a perfect circle, and that perfect circle is indeed a curved triangle. At this point we have come to a transitional point, where either of two definitions will do. In the same way we can talk about a line being curved, less curved, less curved, less curved, less curved, to infinity and then say that the infinitely small curvature of a line signifies that that line has infinite curvature. That is a straight line. In that case a straight line is a curve, provided the curvature is infinitely small.

Now when we are doing this consciously we are not committing adultery. We are actually juggling with limiting factors in terminology. If we know what we are doing it is not adultery. If we know what our aim is it is not adultery. But if we don’t know and we are trying to get ‘A’ and keep on getting bits of ‘B’ in it ... then it is adultery. So from the point of view of the Absolute, prior to the objectification with the Only-Begotten-Son or Cosmic Lord, prior to then, he was purely himself, utterly unadulterated. He then Willed an objective world. Now that objective world was the first spot in Spotty Mary. And prior to this objective world, this Absolute, Infinite Ocean was spotless. It was unadulteratedly, Absolutely a continuum with no finited functions. As soon as it makes this objective sphere in itself, if the thing was against its will then it was adultery, but if it was a will to objectification then it was not. It’s very important to realise again the meaning of the word important. [39:19]


Important means in-carrying. That is important which we Will. Now it is obvious here that we have a method of avoiding adultery by willing absolutely everything whatever.

Supposing we Will, prodigal-like, to know all about everything, and we don’t want there to be anything left undone. As Nietzche says, the steps we did not tread upon will never forgive us. And we don’t want to be not forgiven so we’re going to tread on all the steps. Now if it is not our intention to finish up with total knowledge, then whatever we do is not adultery. Whereas if it was our intention to retain concept “x” which excludes “non-x”, and in fact “non-x” kept getting into our “x”, then it would be adultery. So we decide that a being, which has no name unless we will it to have one, shall be called man as to its function when it is counting on purpose, shall be called Human when it is Willing power rather than counting.

When the counting becomes a means of the expression of the Will we can call it human.

But if it is merely a counting process that is counting for counting, and not simply as an expression of Will, then it is only man. And any being — which is primarily in its origin a sphere — can simultaneously do all these things at once. Now, if he’s doing them all at once accidentally, he is committing adultery. But if he does them all at once deliberately then it is not adultery. So whether we adulterate or not depends entirely on our intent. So the prodigal son who sets out to know all about everything, is no adulterer when he arrives back with a perfectly equilibrated sphere of knowledge. And his brother, who didn’t go out, is also unadulterated. But the qualities of the two types of non-adulteration are totally different. The one that never went out is unadulteratedly himself. The one that did go out is unadulteratedly himself ... plus all his experiences.

Now if he’d gone out in the first place, got kicked by a lonely pig, didn’t like the pain on his ankle bone and turned back immediately and went home crying, he would have said, I have been adulterated by the kick of that mad pig. But if it’s his intention to go down, learn all about it and come back, it is no adultery. 

More on Words.

We observe in fact, while we are talking in this manner, what we are actually doing is evoking mental contents by manipulating letters of the alphabet. The words that we use are only letters of the alphabet. They are nothing else. And yet through thousands of years they have acquired a tremendous charge upon them, an aura and an association power so great, that a modern man cannot in fact shake himself free from the weight of tradition in terms. The weight of tradition locked in words, locked in letters.

So that a man with his own name may be not very important. And a man with his own name plus one or two letters of the alphabet, Lo, one shall bend the knee to him. The power of these letters is so great that it can force bending of the knee, and does so. Society is built up on it. It’s built up on slavery to not-understood sounds ... symbols. Therefore, if we are to attain the freedom we want, we must get hold of this vocabulary. And we must fight the inertia in ourselves that doesn’t want to get hold of it. [43:28]

Inertia and Exertia.

Just like there are operators and things, so there is inertia and free energy.

Inertia means that the work, the ert, is being affirmed [ia] simply in being. The stone doesn’t stop being a stone ... it just goes on. All its particles, all the energy quanta in it are busy running round and round and round and round, localising themselves, simply existing without any change. This existing without any change, we call inertia, in-working.

Now the change from inertia to exertia requires the appearance of consciousness, and the Willing of what one is doing, the becoming aware that one is Willing it, because becoming aware is an essential precondition to changing what is going on. So that we cannot change an inertia in our body, unless we first recognise it as an inertia, and as a Will working at some point. So we can say that there is no inertia whatever other than the working of the pre-established will.

So if there is an inertia in us we have at some time past willed it, and we have imposed upon ourselves this limiting inertia.

I am mine own executioner, said a mystic.

I am mine own executioner, means, I have willed myself into this condition, and all my inertias are simply the corroboration of my previous willings.


Now, if we become conscious of this fact, we have been using words to make ourselves conscious of it. Because in fact there are no animals that can make themselves conscious without a vocabulary. And a human being is a human being because he has a vocabulary, with the term hu added to the term man. If he were not human and just man, he’d be reacting to what is symbolised by the m and the a and the n. And he would be automatically counting things. We can make mechanical counters that can tell you how many packets of corn flakes have gone down the chute today. They tick over, and recite, and push a dial about and give you a reading of so many thousands per day ... of packets. They don’t know what they are doing. Now man, walking about in the street, is likewise ticking over and registering, and there is coming out of his mouth a number, corresponding with the kind of end result of the process inside him, but he is entirely mechanical. That is to say, he is not reflexively capable of interfering with the process. [46:39]

Watching the monkey jump.

Now, to become aware of this process is step one.

The Indian Yoga method of becoming aware is simply, sit down and watch the monkey jump. The mind is the monkey and it jumps about. If you don’t know how stupid it is, you won’t try to stop it. But if you watch it and don’t interfere with it, you will become convinced that it is a fool. And when you are absolutely convinced how stupid the mind is in its reactions, then you will start wanting to do something about it. And if you listen very carefully to the stuff that goes through your head, the utter illogicality of it, the fantasy, the narcissistic self-witness that occurs in it, the frequent repetition of I and my in it, and you discover how utterly mechanical and stupid it is, then you can say,


‘I’ (change the meaning of the letter) means something other than this complex of nonsense.

‘I’ now becomes pure consciousness.


You use the letter ‘I’ to signify pure consciousness and when you say “I” you think of an ‘I’ [eye] that is an observing being, and you use a drawing of the eye to symbolise it. So that when you say “I” then, you simply mean ‘consciousness in this place’. You do not then say, “I = a given recognisable form other people have named”.

When you say, I = consciousness, in this way you transcend the limitations of your name. You could even change your name if you wanted to. But you couldn’t even begin to want to, unless you thought that name had significance ... unless you thought it was impeding you. [48:31]

Identification With Categories.

I knew a woman on one occasion who refused to marry a man called Tart unless he agreed to change it to Tate. And he agreed. The girl was nice and it was worth becoming Tate for Tart ... then it became tit for tat. The point is, there is a very deep feeling in the human race about names. Children feel it very, very strongly about nick-names. A nick-name is an eke-name, a name that one ekes out. If your name is too long then they give a short one, one that is more economic, one that takes less time. But the nick-name that you get very often has something to do with your behaviour when you were a kiddie. And by means of nick-names, little children can be tortured. And by means of names, governments force people into categories. And if they can persuade them to identify with a category then they can say, March forward category ‘A’, once more unto the breach dear friends, farewell. Your post-war benefits will be given to your grandchildren. [49:40]

Cybernetics — The Human Use Of Human Beings.

Now as soon as you can characterise, categorise and force identification on any beings you have in effect reduced them to machines and you can drive them about by studying the law of that machine.

The new science called cybernetics which is sweeping the world, is based on a concept called, the human use of human beings. It’s a very amusing concept because it says, Mechanisation is going on, and automation is going on so rapidly that very soon there won’t be any jobs for men to do at all. This might be a myth because they keep breaking down all the time. Sometimes it requires so many men to maintain the machines that displaced them that they are all back at work. But let’s assume for a moment that all the machines are so efficient that they make baby machines to replace themselves when they wear out. This is actually seriously being considered now, and a machine has been designed that can assemble its baby. All you have to do is feed it the raw material. And there is a machine that is being designed now to go and dig the raw material out. This would produce a long line of machines to get the baby machines to do the work. Now the problem is immediately raised, when we’ve got all this machinery doing all this work, of what is the proper use of human beings?

Now observe the colossal cheek of a group of people saying, What is the proper use of human beings?” And where there’s a use, there’s a user.

Now it’s all based on the concept of feedback. What they are saying is this;

The government are using machines to displace labour, because labour is a bit arbitrary and tends to want more than it deserves. If we can displace labour and put machines in its place, then we have this strange problem, What shall we do with the displaced human beings? Notice, What shall we, the government, do with these beings who have been displaced? They are not quite as snarky as they aught to be, and we can’t quite keep them in order. What shall we do to absorb their energies, which might overthrow us, and just move into our beds wearing sheets, like those cunning pigs in 1984 [the book by George Orwell], and take over the whole government including the machines that make the baby machines to replace themselves.

Now the only way you can find out what to do with these human beings, if you are such a government, is to study the nature of reaction, and then devise some kind of concept which can be imposed upon these beings in such a way they will in fact accept it, and thus become categorised and remain non-revolutionary elements walking about and enjoying themselves quietly, without overthrowing the government. [52:39]

Serious intentions have been expressed by Malthusians and others, that the best thing to do as soon as we’ve got all the machines, is to have a terrific war and eliminate millions of people, so that there won’t be enough of them to overthrow us ... ust sufficient to tend the machines. This is a Utopia. It is a very serious idea. Really serious attempts will be made to cause it to come into being. A lot of money is being spent to that end. If they succeed it will prove that we are all Snarks and not Boojums [Lewis Carroll. The Hunting of the Snark: an Agony in Eight Fits.]

More On Vocabulary.

We know a very peculiar thing: to every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. So as they are studying to solve this cybernetic problem of ‘the human use of human beings’, some other human beings are busy already sowing the seeds of revolution, sowing the seeds of reflexive self-consciousness, so that it will become extremely difficult to use those human beings at all. They will become such that nobody can use them. They will use themselves.

But all of this depends on vocabulary. Without an adequate vocabulary you cannot train yourself. Without an adequate system of symbols you cannot manipulate your own reactions. And so, symbology is the key to the whole thing.

So hand in hand with cybernetics is the relatively new science of semiotics [Greek: simeion, a mark] and semantics. Somehow the significance of words is intimately linked with this question of the human use of human beings. The only reason they don’t say, The inhuman use of human beings, is because they want to publish the book without anybody reading it, in case the British Museum want a copy for their files. [54:38]

Sheep and Goats.

The terribly important thing is that we must use vocabulary to do it. Let’s take a very old example of vocabulary ... the division of the human race into operators and things, or goats and sheep. It’s exactly the same principle. There are beings who are sheep, and there are beings who are goats. And the funny thing about the goats is this ... they have a go at things, and they tend to stimulate sheep to want to be goats. Now this is a bit awful on the sheep, because if they start wanting to be goats and they are not goats, they will start skipping about on the mountain tops and skid [laughter]. Now the peculiar thing about the goat, he doesn’t need anybody to tell him to do something. He just has a go at it.

But it is possible to hypnotise a goat and make it think it’s a sheep. Quite a simple thing. I’ve hypnotised a goat myself and made it join a flock of sheep [further chuckles]. Now, when this happens, the being that would otherwise have been free, has been bound by a concept, because he was off-guard. He was a young goat. I don’t mean in years ... he wasn’t. But in fact, it was a goat who was unaware fully of his own potential. And he had imposed upon him a concept that he was a sheep. Thereupon he joined the flock. Now, I’m talking about real goats and sheep at the moment, not humans. This is not a metaphor.

Supposing we make it into a metaphor and say, there are some human beings who are not sure whether they are sheep or goats. And they think to themselves, I want to become a goat, and I feel that I need to be taught how to become a goat, and therefore I must go to GOAT to remind me how to be a goat. Now, if he really needs to be reminded how to be a goat, he is really a sheep thinking that he is a goat when he is not, or he’s a partially hypnotised goat that needs de-hypnotising. This is the kind of thing that goes on. To graduate from thing to operator or from sheep to goat is impossible. If you’ll remember the old tag,


The body can never be saved, the self was never lost ... what then is salvation?


The answer is realisation of the fact: there is something that cannot be saved and something that was never lost. Now that which was never lost is pure consciousness. And that which never can be saved is the object. So the best thing to do is stop-identification-with-the-object. Now the only difference between a sheep and goat is this: that the sheep is identified with the flock ... and the goat is not. And there’s nothing but identification differentiating man into sheep and goats. So that if you can break identification with any given concept you automatically become a goat in relation to those. If you break identification with all concepts whatever, including that of the macrocosmos, you become an Absolute goat. And you’ll behave in an absolute goat manner if you are not careful, and get locked up.

The important thing to realise is that nothing but pure consciousness, reflexively self-aware, can be a goat, adequately. But this very same goat is mysteriously a sheep, because it leads itself, and follows itself. And it knows that there is other than it pushing it and nothing other than it following it. This is higher than a monistic concept which would say that it is either a big sheep or a big goat. It is non-dual.

As to its substantialising aspect occupying infinite space, it is mass inertia, a sheep.

As to its initiative force it is a free chooser, a catalyst, the ‘I’ that causes change, this is the goat.

So in the mysterious Goatia of the naughty magicians, we find the simple doctrine, that That which IS absolutely, is a sheep-goat. And we find that this duality is expressed in Christ, who is the scapegoat and the sacrificial lamb. As scapegoat he understands that there is nothing other than the Absolute Power, and with this he is identified. But he understands that this very, very same power, being all in all, there can be nothing other than it and as to its spatial occupancy is a mass power, and as such a mass inertia. It is in-working. But as to its absolute self-consciousness and initiative it is free. And it has to assume the responsibility for what it does with itself. [1:00:03]

It leads itself. The Absolute leads itself into objectivity and makes a universe. But the objective world cannot move unless the field moves it. So the external objective world is a sheep, but it doesn’t look like a sheep, it looks like a goat. Whereas the invisible field that nobody can feel at all, and which undoubtedly feels as harmless as a lamb, is in actual fact the goat that is pushing everything about.

Male and Female.

If we can understand this polarity, we can get hold of our own being. Discussing this the other night with some very qualified people, there was some agreement at the end, but only by the women who were there. All the men disliked it, and complained that they’d have to think about it.

The statement was made that Absolute power, considered as power, was female. Considered as formal behaviour, it was male. But the formal behaviour was only an effect of the power, and therefore in a peculiar sense, men are inferior to women ... because the ideas are generated by the field and the field initiates the condensation we call an idea.

You get this very clearly expressed in a woolly way called mystical in Indian philosophy where the female power of God, called the Shakti, is the all-in-all in terms of power, whereas God himself as male is utterly powerless. He’s only the idea that she pushes around. But we should suspect this, because it’s a patriarchal doctrine.

When we talk about the irrational Will we are talking about power abstractly considered apart from its form. When we consider the drive in its formless aspect, we are talking about femaleness, tremendous will, want without definition ... but it is an abstract concept, of a power which is formless, and it is female. When we consider the idea purely as form without power, then it is male. Now in fact there are no ideas that are not powers, and there are no powers that are not forms. So that all existential beings are male/female, but nevertheless there is a stress on any given being, more on the initiative will than the form, or more on the form than on the will. And the funny thing is that this polarity is inverted in such a way, that in any given being, if a being looks like a woman on the outside, it is a man on the inside. And as the inside is more important than the outside, it follows that it is really a man wherever you see a woman’s body. But whenever you see a man’s body, it is a woman.

There’s a woman on the inside of a man, and a man on the inside of a woman. Now if this is fully known, then a man, instead of trying to conform externally to the behaviour called man, should realise that he is a woman, and so essentially and arbitrarily, irrational will. And a woman should realise that because she’s so damned wilful on the outside, and utterly irrational, that she should become what she really is, a perfectly logical creature, like she is on the inside.

Now all the women agreed with this. They are very intelligent women, and they said, We are very logical, and funnily enough we are very faithful. We are utterly trustworthy because we know what we want and we never let go of it. We know what we want and we never let go of it, and therefore we are ever faithful, ever true to our purpose. And all else on the outside is a matter of expediency caused by the stupidity of men. At this point, I thought, as there was such a great consensus of opinion, I would quote Francis Thompson’s words, Their treacherous trueness and their loyal deceit. [01:04:29]

They know what they want. They know exactly what they want. They want to be central to the universe, and to allow an infinite power to come through them and to press through them in the form of progeny for millions and millions of space time units ... in fact, forever. And to that they are faithful.

But a man doesn’t know that they want this. And he thinks he wants something else, what he calls truth. To this he is dedicated in his male side. So he is dedicated to mathematics and geometry. So he’s dealing in a peculiar sense with the abstract side of reality, the intellectual side. And she is dealing with the biological side. But if he doesn’t know this fact, he expects her to conform to his abstract, geometrical, mathematical and logical principles. Whereas she is very busy on the inside conforming to her divinely appointed biological end. [01:05:36]


Now, by means of terms we can sort out this polarity within the human being, discover that a human being is a hermaphrodite or an androgyne, or find a difference between an hermaphrodite and an androgyne. As a doctor said to me the other night, When you are talking about your bi-polar being, it is terribly important that you tell us whether it is a hermaphrodite or an androgyne. Apparently there was a very great difference. There is, actually. It’s worth looking up to find out what. The terms are not synonymous, although they are approximately so.

We have said, there are no absolute synonyms, so where two words appear to mean the same thing there must be a difference. And this is one of the chief methods, in propaganda, of diverting you. And they give you a term which is equivalent to another term and you swallow it because it’s equivalent ... only it isn’t.


A little boy was arguing with his mother, who was a doctor, the other day:

And he said, Why have all those people, protesting against the bomb, been arrested?

And the mother said, Because they have broken the law, Dear.

And he said, Who makes the law, Mummy?

And she said, The people make the law, Dear. This is a democracy.

And he said, Are those who have been arrested, people?

And she said, Yes.

He said, Were they arrested because they were trying to change the law?

And she said, I suppose so.

He said, Well then, this isn’t a democracy!

And she felt awful, because this little boy was quite tiny. But like all children of that age their logic is not yet spoilt. Here was a penetrating criticism. The mother’s inertia said, It is a democracy.

And she said to me, Can you tell me how I can convince him that it is a democracy?

And I said, No, I can’t convince myself.

Now if we can get hold of our terms and we direct to a very early rule, if we can get the same objective reference, and use the same terms, we cannot misunderstand each other. And if we don’t misunderstand each other, our Will will operate freely. Which means we will all be self-determined, and nobody can push us around, and we shall be like it is said,

In those days no man shall teach another of God for all shall know Him [Heb 8:11].

But in that event there will be no subjection of one being to another, nor subjects of masses to an individual, and no building of external pyramids by slavery, or anything else. But that time is not yet arrived so meanwhile, some beings who know the ropes,

and ROPE is RUPA which means FORM.

and RUPA, NAMA, NAMARUPA are not to be separated.

Those who know the name-forms are in fact duping the rest by the misuse of vocabulary. So we cannot too strongly stress the need for a continuous return to the dictionary ... which brings us now to be too late to deal with the letter.



~~~ End ~~~


[1] Psalms 8:9  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!