Prayer and Bohme
The text of a tape from TYG 416
I had intended to read a sentence out of Bohme’s Signatura Rarum in the manner we suggested last week, and we will do that in a moment. Meanwhile there is a short question about prayer, what it is. It says realising that we are conditioned by the Church into a mode of prayer which now seems quite inadequate and unreal, what form should prayer take. Should it be a regular say daily self conscious reflexiveness before God and a declaration and enquiring into ones motives for action. From thought following on from prayer comes a realisation that motives and actions continually taking place through the day and therefore through life must necessarily mean that life becomes a dedicated and continual prayer. Well prayer is a separate quiet time must surely be needed for self reflection is this prayer? Prayer has occurred a lot of times and not defined.
Well we will give a definition of prayer according to the phonetic value of the word itself. We take out the consonants PR, YR and we give the meaning to them. PR means point differentiations, to see the differences in any point whatever Y means affirmation and R again means differentiation. So prayer analysed in its consonants means that in every point of experience we should differentiate the experience and see precisely what constitutes it. See all the separate elements in the experience and then, when we have seen them we must affirm these differences, we must accept the differences that we see, we must not repel some of them as unpleasant, we must not prefer certain elements of the experience, we must affirm the whole of the experience. We repeat this definition. In any point, we must see the constituent elements which constitute the differences which appear on analysis of the event. And when we have seen all the contained differences in the experience, we must affirm these differences. We must not find some of them unpleasant, repress them and deny their existence, we must not select the pleasant bits and pretend they are the only elements present, we must see all the elements that are present and affirm their existence. And, if we do this con tenuously, remembering the in the Bhagavad Gita of prayer, “Prayer is continual remembrance.” If we continually remember, that is, make again a member of consciousness the elements of experience, then we are praying continuously. If we don’t do this then we are only dealing with a part of reality, we are being partial. When a man is being partial to a cake, or partial to jam, or partial to a girl or partial to a piece of furniture, in effect it means he is treating himself as less than the total situation and identifying with a single element in the situation, a part of the situation and in so doing he is being determined by the part instead of by the whole situation. And he expresses this by saying he is being partial to jam or cake or whatever it is. Now, in true prayer, there is no partiality. Just as with God, God is no respecter of persons and He has no partiality because if He is to retain control of His Universe he cannot afford to be partial. He has to be impartial, He must keep the whole of phenomena before Him, the whole of form, the whole of motive, feeling, whatever there is, He must hold it all simultaneously in order to see the significant relationships of all the constituents of the Universe. And it is this ability to see the constituent elements in a situation without eliminating any, because they are unpleasant and without selecting some special ones because they are pleasing, to affirm the whole situation with all its constituent elements consciously, is prayer. If you affirm the whole you will adjust to the whole if you affirm only the part you will adjust only to the part and then that which you have not adjusted to will be outside your control. Prayer then, is in effect a means of coming more and more into contact with reality. You see the whole situation all the elements in it and you try to make yourself sharply conscious of all the constituent elements and you affirm that their differences are significant and valuable to you and in no sense do you repress any of them , in no sense do you force them out of consciousness because of their unpleasantness. This guarantees that your consciousness will always be a whole from moment to moment. It also guarantees, if you are doing it that you will be alert. Alert means ‘all work’. AL [ L is the leading L there] and ert is the same as erg, work. Alert means all work. And that means you are conscious of all the elements in the experience. The moment you let some of the elements in the experience lapse, you are no longer alert. You are only partially ert not all-ert.
Now I think that will do for this definition of prayer and it comes then to a question. Prayer as a separate quiet time. “Is this needed for self-reflection?”
And the answer is if you are applying the definition of prayer as continual remembrance and prayer as the differentiation of the constituent elements in the experience and their affirmation, if you are doing this continuously through the day if follows that unless you go a 24 hour jam, that some parts of the day will be relatively quiet and in these quiet times you can carry on praying. That is you can practice your reflexive self- consciousness in the quietness. But it is essential that you manage to do this same thing in the midst of noise in the midst of your daily work, because if you only pray when it is quiet when the external stimulus situation is not pressing you too much then you will only be equipped to deal with quiet situations. There is one thing you can do in the quiet time and that is, rehearse potential difficult times, hypothetical situations that might stress you, should be rehearsed during the quiet times. Again you must define for yourself, experiences which you might undergo and you should state to yourself all the constituent elements of these experiences, and the correct reply which you should give as an integrated, reflexively self-conscious person. If, in the quiet times you actually work in this way, you will set up in yourself an awareness of many elements which would otherwise be unconscious and then , when the situation as defined arises you are already alert, you have done all the work necessary to deal with the situation.
Remember what we have said before about Napoleon when he was asked by one of his officers, “How is it that you react so adequately in all these new situations, unexpected strategic situations?” And napoleon replied, “They are not new to me.” He had rehearsed all possible contingencies. And so he had worked throughout the whole situation, therefore he was alert. The more you do this and rehearse adequate reactions in stimulus situations, the more you will be ready, you will be quick. In Christ terms “quick” means the same thing as Mercurial. Remember that Mercury, Quicksilver, the metal of the mind, Quicksilver is the symbol of the quick mind. Christ defines human beings as of two kinds, the quick and the dead. The quick are the Quicksilver and you know quicksilver, if you hit it will roll about and will break into little balls and will analyse itself and run about very rapidly. If you have a quick mind you can do the same. You can strike on the situation, scatter it into millions of little balls and see the constituents of the situation just as hit with a ball of mercury.
If you are dead it simply means that your reactions have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs are conditioned, by presentation of stimuli, painful or pleasant, and these engrammed in your memory are reacting for you. So that, in effect, you never face the present because you are being dictated to by the past stimulus situation. So, to become quick, in Christ sense, to become mercurial, to become ready is to increase the speed with which one becomes aware of all the constituent elements in the conversation in the experience that you have. To help do this, if you remember that you are a three-part being, human relations are more important for you than any others and therefore you are in relation with a being or beings that have three parts and therefore every being with whom you relate yourself must have thoughts, feelings and urges or motives, and these three will be operating simultaneously on their various levels. So that if when you are talking to a person and you are merely following the formal, rational side of their argument without trying to discover how they feel about the argument, and to discover their underlying motive of the urge driving them to where they want to be, you are only doing one third of the work. So when you are discussing, with any people at all about anything don’t only follow the rational line of the argument, try to see where they like and dislike particular idea presented and try to discover what their motive is, why they are pushing in this direction rather than that. Now if you do these three things simultaneously follow the line of the argument formally, rationally and at the same time notice whether they like or dislike the particular idea being presented at the moment and simultaneously you are trying to discover the urge direction which is the motive, the motive which keeps the whole thing going, it has an aim, it is trying to get from A to X. You have to discover X by seeing the continuous trend in the affective life, the liking and disliking which itself is the ground of this motive. So you must do these three things simultaneously in order to become quick. The person that only listens to the rational side of an argument without discovering the underlying motive can easily be fooled. In fact, a politician is there to present you with rational arguments without ever displaying his real motive in presenting them. So if you only follow the argument you are in one third of prayer, hardly one third really. If you follow whether he likes it or dislikes it and forget the argument, again you are not doing the full job. If you try to discover his motive and ignore the argument and whether he likes it or not, you will fail. If you do these three simultaneously and then see the relation between them that is the fourth thing, that is why I said it wasn’t really a third when you are merely following the rational argument. If you think that co-ordination is an extra-special act where you tie these three things together and call that the fourth thing, then thinking is only a quarter.
Now is that sufficient for the prayer?
Are you working on three levels when you are waiting for the sound shift in a person’s voice where you listen for the Lauds song and evensong, you do get those shifts don’t you?
You may be but in order to make sure that you were you would have to know not only that there were soundshifts occurring and different tone modes of production whether the voice closed and became nasal at a certain point which happens spontaneously when somebody disagrees with you. The nose wrinkles, the tone becomes nasal or a second, or on the other hand if the appetite opens you will hear the throat open and the vowel will move towards ‘aw’ ‘oo’. But when you are listening to those you can easily fall into simply noting the changes of tone without noticing also simultaneously, the affective, the liking and disliking and the palative or urge value of the same thing. You have to do everything at once and in order to do it you have to be quick.
I mean there are several things happen when you are talking to people, they can start at a certain point and start fidgeting and things like that and they are indicative of some shift aren’t they?
They may be, but you might come up against a Golda Mayir who may fidget on purpose to distract you. You see you have to do these things simultaneously otherwise you can be deceived so even if somebody does fidget, your ability to interpret the fidget means that you are aware motive, his urge, of the liking disliking in him and of the rational form of his argument and you are co-ordinating these three at once, because the fidget might not be a fidget, he might be just pretending and only your sensitivity to his feeling and motive can tell you whether he is pretending.So no partial activity, no partial analysis can be an effective substitute for this total three-fold awareness and the co-ordination of it.
Now I did say something last week about reading slowly and finding out the meaning of the words used so I have brought a translation of the Signatura Rarum of Jacob Bőhme here. I thought we would start with chapter one here and just see if we can manage to get through perhaps the first paragraph.
Now it says here, “All whatever is spoken, written or taught of God without the knowledge of the signature is dumb and void of understanding.” Now it says here ‘All’ and we said we have to analyse each word if really we are to understand what we are talking about. It is easy to just [ ] this thing and I have a friend who has a copy of this book which they first started reading in 1927, and two years ago, this friend discovered it would not be a bad idea to read chapter one, because it had been read too rapidly and the full significance of this opening statement had been missed and it is the key to the whole book. It says ‘All’ means, that are primary energy and the L function the labouring and linking, tie together, ‘All whatever means that the Absolute energy is working in a peculiar way and producing ‘whatnesses’. Now a ‘whatness is something that scholastics [ ...vity] that is simply a content of consciousness. Because of the T in it you know that it is a finited content of consciousness so if we say, “Or whatever” the ’or’ is a binding concept, and the Absolute energy, and the ‘whatever inside it is referring to the finites which are embraced by the line signified by this L. “Or whatever “ means there is no thing whatever that could be considered to be excluded from this statement. It is therefore an Absolute statement. It is not just some things but all things whatever are being considered. So we are not allowed to say in a few moments, “Does it apply to dogs too?” This kind of thing is said and it is unconsciously assumed. All whatever is spoken, and here spoken means uttering sounds and these sounds, in order to be words have to have intended reference value. They have to point towards some aspect of experience. So spoken means that sound is given out and the sound is intended to refer to some elements of experience.
Written means, of course, making marks on paper to represent the sounds of speech. Taught is a funny word because it is made of the word ‘aught’ which is anything whatever and is the opposite of nought which is not bought and is a primary root, a power root represented by the GH, established on the T, T itself being the Cross and the T at the beginning means again you are going to fix this power. So just as in the word ‘teach’ it is to each that is to say all teaching is a stimulus to individuals so taught implies that an ought of power energy has been fixed on something.
And when you fix an energy in a being, the being is said to be taught and it is also related to that tautness that comes from the tension and therefore to teach, to each, to give an individual stress in the receiving individual is to have taught him and to have produced a tautness in relation to that concept a tension in him. It is physiologically a physical tension. Psychologically it is an act of attention but the tension at the physical level is the same as the tension appearing at the psychological level as the mental act of attention. So a person who has been taught has actually been set in a state of tension about the subject matter that has been taught. So that teaching actually selects from the sum total possibilities of form some form and gives them an extra tension This tension makes them operate in the substance of the taught person more rapidly, more efficiently than the untaught the unstretched. So this teaching makes readiness to react to given forms. All whatever is spoken given or taught of God. Now he says , “Of God,” he hasn’t defined God here yet. Later on in the book he will define God. Now when we look at the word itself we see it is made up of the elements of Earth of ‘geh’ of a space or zone and a D which means analysis. It is a substantial space divided. So it implies, when we have analysed the world ‘substance’ and reduce substance as power, that this God to which Bőhme is referring is the Absolute Power of the Universe which differentiates all the separate events of the Universe in Himself. ‘All that ever is spoken, written or taught of God without the knowledge of the ‘signature’ is dumb and void of understanding’. Now knowledge is made of this verb to know and this means to lock now immediately. Whatever is in consciousness now, held and it is held reflexively, so that you know that you know, is said to be knowledge. There is a ledge in effect because you have abstracted from the total background of formal possibilities some which you have brought into a high state of tension, and this tension constitutes the nowness of the form received and because in drawing a now finitely you have made an edge and this edge itself is a danger, because when you have defined a thing you have excluded something as well as including the things talked about. So in knowledge you are concerned with the present moment’s consciousness content.
Now signature is the trickiest word to deal with and if it is not understood, then nothing whatever can be understood in the works of this man. Signature is made of the nature of ‘sig’. Sig as in the Greek sigma which is a special letter, signifies ‘spirit into earth’. SIG, the sig, the nature of sig. If we see that when power behaves in a formal manner then the mode of its behaviour is evidence of the power so behaving. The power is characterised by its mode of action. When we look at a gross material thing say like coal in a grate, which is made of a word to coalesce, to come together to tie is up, we see energy brought down into the gross world and we know that if we treat in a certain way, apply heat and so on, it will then start to go through various processes and it will give forth the original light and heat which was previously involved in the coal. The sunlight shone on primeval forests, those forests had fallen down, decayed been compressed or coalesced and constitute coal. If we look at coal and examine coal chemically and then put coal, empirically through various experiments we discover that coal is compacted light from the sun. Now, coal therefore is the gross, material evidence of the possibility of the compacting of light and heat at the gross level. And this is the nature of sig as coal. Sig is this primary spirit put into a point and made gross, so that every gross body, if examined and tested under various conditions will reveal that it has energies in itself and it is constituted by these energies and that the energies constituted in it evidence their presence by the internal form or structural geometry of the gross matter under consideration. Sig then means precisely this that the spirit or primary energy has involved itself in the gross material level and that the gross material will give you geometrical evidence of the kind of spirit in its characteristic form. Nature is ‘natura’ and ‘na’ is an old form of a serpent going along and ‘tura’ is the same as the rota or cyclic process of events, so natura means the motions like those of a serpent, and the cyclic principles conditioning these motives. So a signature means the law of the motions which are evidence in a gross material body and compacted in this way, prove that certain energies, spirit, has so involved.
So, “All that is talked of God without knowledge of the signature is dumb and void of understanding.” Dumb means that it can’t really speak at all and it has no understanding. Christ says the same thing when he says the letter kills, the spirit quickens. He meant to say that the letter, the visible letter, if you are determined by it, can totally mislead you because the form of the letter as written is not identical with the sound as heard, and when the sound has external reference value it is pointing you really in the wrong direction if you think that the sound derives from the material body. The material body, the gross material bodies are precipitates of the Logos and the Logos is the formative, and today we say, ultrasonic power. In other words, sound and form are identical at the top level. Sound and form precipitate the gross material so that when we look at a gross material object, we should try to think back towards the geometrical formative forces that precipitated themselves into that gross level.
All whatever that is spoken, written or taught of God without the knowledge of the signature is dumb and void of understanding. Understanding is getting underneath the diverse phenomenal world If we look at the crest of waves on the sea And we fascinate ourselves with looking at particular wave crests we can forget totally that these wave crests are simply modal behaviours of the sea. If we remember the sea and we understand the nature of the seas viscosity and the way it responds to the pressure of the wind and we see that these waves arise from the nature of the sea and the nature of the impelling force, then we are understanding it, whereas if we merely see the individual wave forms and forget that they are simply the modal operations of the sea, then we have no understanding. In the same way, if we try to watch the behaviour of a human being and have no control concept that first of all, as a finite made of protoplasm which is irritable , which responds to stimuli according to its capacity to assimilate them and some stimuli cause pain that is a repel protoplasm, and some cause pleasure that is they are easily assimilable. If we forget these things then we haven’t got much understanding. If we think, when we see Krushov browbeating an unfortunate American gentleman that there is anything underneath it at all other than the will of one man to keep to his point and get on with his own purpose, then we have no understanding. If we are fooled by the display of superficial arguments on the top and we forget that he is a will going in a definite direction and that all the arguments on the top are as superficial as the foam that gets on the sea if we forget those things then we have no understanding. Understanding means get underneath it, stand underneath, get on the very, very rock bottom foundation, see what goes on down there. And then he says why this is so. Without knowledge of the signature everything is dumb, it can’t carry what it should tell, void of understanding, “For it proceeds only from a historical conjecture.” Now ‘a historical conjecture, by this he means from events from the past and these events are thrown together. Conjecture is throwing together the previous history of man in cities and other places, chiefly in cities, and in their being thrown together , through mutual stimulation, they have been provoked to speak, and their speaking, added up, constitute historical conjectures.
Now they have been thrown up in the contingent relationship, and as we have seen before, by drawing finite circles, external to each other and touching, no contingent relationship can tell you the essential quality inside a being. Contingent stimulation is external, so historical conjecture is external because it simply means the process of throwing men together in closed situations, then mutual stimulation gives rise to conjectures, these conjectures in the their totality of the past up to now are called historical and therefore they can have no value at all except to a person who understands signatures. To understand a signature is to understand how forces of spirit, internally working, precipitate gross material objects. But in the historical contingent relation these gross material objects impinge against each other. They knock superficially and externally and in their being thrown together they produce peculiar sounds and these peculiar sounds then constitute the babble language or confused language of men in contingent relation. Now this language of Babel cannot tell you anything at all at the contingent level o the nature of spirit. It proceeds only by historical conjecture from the mouth of another. He expresses it again in an exterior manner from the mouth of another, of another being. Now if it comes from inside myself, and truly comes from inside myself and is not simply memory of an external stimulus situation, then I am growing in self knowledge, and if the thing comes from outside from a contingent stimulus, then if I externalise my attention onto it, it cannot tell me anything at all about myself.
So not to understand the nature of signature is to be in fact conditioned by the mouthings of men thrown together on groups where one mouth speaks to another through contingent stimulation. And in such, in historical conjecture and from the mouth of another, the spirit without knowledge is dumb. It cannot speak, it has no formal way of expressing itself if the terms are not correct. If the terms that you get refer only to contingent relation, which means practically the whole of empirical, scientific terms by their very nature they cannot tell us anything at all about the inner Spirit which actually creates those forms. The he says, “But if the Spirit opens to him the signature, then he understands the speech of another.”
Now we are supposed to be doing this one word at a time but we are not doing at the moment because we are going back to explain a word in terms of some other words. Gradually, by extra hard work we can go back to define even a word like the indefinite article and see what makes it indefinite. We can see why in the definite article the, the letter T and why in the indefinite article we have simply A, the symbol of the Absolute. Meanwhile we are doing as much work as we can do within the available time, defining our chief terms. “If the Spirit opens to him the signature,” now Spirit itself is the original Absolute Sentient Power, which by its very nature is motion, and by its nature as motion it is essentially formative and therefore throughout its infinity it is continuously formulating, and this formulating process is not productive of static in results so that it is not formulat-ed it is formulating. We can think about nature as formulated only if we close our mind to the dynamic facts. If I ignore the processes taking place in this chair, I can pretend that the chair is static. If I get an electron microscope and examine the chair with it I will discover that it is highly dynamic. So if I believe in anything static in the world it can only be by finiting my attention in such a way that I can ignore the constituent motions of things.
“If the Spirit opens to him the signature then he understands the speech of another.” Now this is the exerfcise that Bert was talking about. If we go internally to Spirit and we then listen to another person speaking, with full consciousness, we can hear, in the modulations of the voice, in the mode of production of the vowels and the consonants and so on, what is the reason of that person, whether he likes it or not and what his primary urge is pushing towards. So that, if we have this Spirit, this inner consciousness well developed then the speech of another person can be understood by it. And further he understands bow the Spirit has manifested and revealed itself out of the essence, through the principle, in the sound of the voice. He says, “Out of it is manifested,” that means made fast the form in order to be counted, and “ revealed”, and revealed here is a double word because it means not only show you the ‘significance of’ but it also means ‘to cover up again.’ And the reason for this is because ‘pall’ means essentially a cover on the power, by and of the power constituting that form.
So if we look at the form of this book we see that it is approximately like, when closed, a box. That is its external form. We open it, we find it has pages; we look on the pages and we find the form of ink. Now all these forms are really a covering up of the power in peculiar ways. We are not seeing the power as power, we are seeing the power as form; and therefore, no man has seen the Father, the Son declares him. Nobody could possibly see the Absolute Power which has created all things because, by definition, the Absolute Power is not a finite. Nevertheless, the Son, that is this same power incarnate as the Son of God, can declare it. “No man has seen the Father, the Son declares Him.” This means that when you become consciously aware of this inner process of Spirit, of consciousness, inside yourself, at that moment then the Father, the generative power is incarnate in you consciously. And you then are one mind with the Son, you then have, at that moment, the Mind of Christ. That is to say, if you contemplate the whole of Cosmic Being simultaneously, which requires a certain amount of energy, at the moment you succeed in doing so you have participated in the Mind of Christ. That is you have participated in Cosmic Mind. And when we say you have participated, we are doing a little dialectical trick. If you have only participated you are only a particle. But that refers to your physical body, the reference point from which you started to do the exercise. So participation then means that you have started with a finite body as reference, then you have extended your consciousness beyond the parts in order to become one with the Cosmic Mind, and yet you retain a memory of the body from which you started. When you refer to the body from which you started and from that back to the Cosmic, then you say that you are participating. And if you forget the body from which you started then you say you are identified with the Cosmic Mind. O, whether you are participating or actually identifying with the universal depend entirely on whether you retain or lose the memory of the individual organism from which you started your exercise.
“Revealed itself, out of the essence, through the principle.” Is saying essence is behind principle. Now this principle, ‘Prince’ means ‘first’, first means head of a series and behind the series is that which continuously supports all the elements all the elements of the series, but which itself is never expressed in the elements of the series. So, if we take the saw and the teeth, if we look at the teeth, they are presented serially but they are all steel and on the back of the saw there is a smooth line. The back of the saw we could call the essence, where the smooth line is and as we are coming up towards the teeth we are passing through, from the essence, through the principle of differentiation, into segregation as teeth. So we can give rise t the idea of separateness without any actual severance of the metal by simply serating the edge. So, “Out of the essence from that which is absolutely non-different, through the principle, which is the rational first or head of a series, in the sound with the voice.” Sound is form. You may remember in Freud’s Psychopathology of Every Day Life, how he described the interesting fact that he noticed of slips, mental slips, little accidents, slips of the tongue occur. When you hear these they are significant. Like a man who said, “You are I am, I believe you are growed Daddy,” it was, “you have growed her.” And he inserted another letter into this by mistake, wrote it on top of one of the constituent letters and changed the word into another word which actually mean t the exact opposite of what he wrote and this was a slip. They occur on the pen and they occur in speech. If you are very alert you can hear the word that the man really meant trying to express itself over the thing he is trying to cover it with. And this again is through the sound in the voice you can hear, through the principle, the essence of his meaning.
So there is an essence, this essence is moving into principles differentiating as prime forms or heads of series and derivative forms and then appearing as separate sounds and manifesting in the human voice. So, changes of tone, changes of pronunciation of vowels of consonants are all indicative.
He says “Although I seem one to speak, teach preach and write of God and though I hear and read the same yet this is not the same for me to understand him.” So you see that he says that speaking and teaching and preaching and writing itself is not sufficient to make any man understand. “But if his sound and spirit out of his signature,” that is his essential precipitated character, “and similitude enter into my own similitude,” he is saying where two substances have something similar then communication is possible, “and if he imprint his similitude into mine then I may understand him, really and fundamentally, be it either spoken or written, if he has the hammer that can strike my bell.”
This means that all works written, all works spoken or preachings or teachings are useless the teacher actually has a hammer that can strike on the bell of his recipient. He must have inside himself a substance which similar to the substance of the person he is talking to, he must be conscious of the substance in himself, what part of himself it is, whether he is talking about reasons or about feelings or about urges and then he can point the thing to the corresponding centre of the listener and insist on the listener concentrating on urge or on feeling or on idea. And by calling upon the similar structure, this Bőhme calls ‘similitude’ similar structure or similar substantial condition or the like resonances in another person, then understanding occurs. And the understanding is that the form of the word is like the wave crest are stimulating but by their mode of stimulation they are forcing consciousness down into the substance.
Now if you take the three-fold man you can draw the wave crest in his head and you can a straight line at the bottom and somewhere between that straight line, corresponding with the unmodified basic urge somewhere between that base line and the breaking lines of the foam on the wave crest, there is a feeling line where the water is just moving without breaking into wave forms. So we get a basic line, continuum, a simple drive of the fundamental primitive urge to be, and right at the top the analysed, broken wave top and the little separated balls of water, the froth on the top, and in the mid regions, an undulating motion that participates in something of the nature of the top and at the bottom and thus mediates between the two. This is why the mid regions are said to be the most important, why, in fact, the control of breath in the awareness of your own breathing rate is very important to understand how you are orientated towards the ideas presented in your mind and how they act as inhibiting factors on your primary drive.
Now we have gone very quickly actually through the first paragraph there it does say that unless we understand the nature of seek we cannot communicate, and that communication is only possible providing we have similar substances and similar forms. If we haven’t got this we are wasting our time. So if we get a man that speaks only Kiswahili and we take him to a gentleman who speaks only English and allow they to debate, philosophically some point, they will get nowhere because they have no similitudes in the organ of communication in their language. So, obviously, if we wish to communicate, one of the first things we have go to do is find these similitudes. We have some awareness of these similitudesthe moment we know that all human beings think, feel and have urges. And we should then divide our vocabulary up into three categories of words, at least; the words that deal with purely rational propositions, the words that deal with liking and disliking and the words that deal with prime urge. If we do this consciously then we can really begin to communicate with each other. He then says, by this we know that all human properties proceed from one. How do we know this? Because he said that only by similitude can communication occur and the sim in similitude means seed. So he draws from it, “By this we know that all human properties proceed from one, that they all have but one only root and mother.” By mother he means substance. Otherwise one man could not understand another in the sound for with the sound or speech the form notes and imprints itself into the similitude of another. He said that the mere fact that we can communicate at all is a proof of our similitude and therefore of our ultimate unity of substance. So that the very thing that apparently guarantees our difference, namely a jolly good argument and discussion of fact verbally is by the mere fact of communication a guarantee that there is really no argument. And again this is a dialectical fact. If the person argues with you it is a relation there is a common factor, a similar substance and therefore any statement about an absolute difference between the communicants in the argument is rendered false by the existence of the argument.
It says a like tone or sound captures the mood of another and in the sound the spirit imprints its own similitude which it has conceived in the essence and brought to form in the principle. A like tone or sound captures and moves another. When you are studying logic normally, you take the definition of your words and you proceed, apparently from the defined term to a series of steps to a conclusion and in modern philosophy they have no idea that something quite different takes place and conditions the arguments of people. It says here a like tone or sound captures and moves another. This means to say that if we sound two totally different letters of the alphabet which would not be associated by their difference in form, but we sound them in the same tone they become linked by the tone regardless of their different forms. And also if we say the same letter twice in two in two different tones, so the similarity or identity of the repeated letter we tie together two different tones. Now this is actually going on in the mind all the time. Instead of the superficially conceived rational association of ideas according to defined significances of individuals something else is going on far more subtle all the letters in all the words you know which are identical associate all those words together regardless of their resonance value to the individual and all the words that have ever been said and their given tones springing out of a given mood have also been linked together in the mind irrespective of their alphabetic form or their reference value. This means, in effect, that the mind is linked together by moods which determine tones, quite irrationally from the point of view of the individual and that these mood linkages cut straight across the logical relations of ideas and produce and produce relations which are quite illogical. That is illogical from the point of view of the defined person the individual. These relations are the grounds of neurotic states, psychological states, of obsessional states where people suddenly find words occurring in their mind irrationally, that is not related rationally to their conscious individual purpose. And yet words keep coming together. They come together because they have had a like tone from a like mood or from the fact of like form of the letters of the alphabet.
And here he is given in his day what in effect is the real ground of the association experiences of very deep level s of the psyche. He says in that sound the Spirit imprints its own similitude now if the Spirit has a similitude, it follows that the Spirit is form and the PR in Spirit means form. This S belongs to that serpent image where the Absolute was considered as dynamic to be in the form of an undulating serpent but that serpent through its propagational wave forms infinitely produces intersection points, and that is P and on those points the motion vibrates and radiates and that is the R, and the radiating forces crossing other radiating forces say T. So Spirit implies this absolute dynamic undulation propagating itself infinitely and this infinite undulating crossing motion producing points at the intersection places and these themselves in the mutual interference of the two crossing forces producing radiating forces and these radiating forces crossing each other producing Ts or establishments formally, all this is contained in the word ‘Spirit.’ And the Spirit therefore is a formulating sentient power. Every Spirit seeks a body means that the spirit itself is in its dynamic undulations and infoldings, involvings, producing spontaneously zones of interference. Zones of relative opacity which we call bodies. And the form is identical with the mode of action of the Spirit in that place. Therefore the Spirit imprints its own similitude, it says, which it has conceived in the essence.
Now this essence is this Absolute itself considered as the source of issuance of all these appearing forms. It is brought to form in the principle. We could say here we could interpret principal as first, head of a series again, and therefore we have three principles in the body, the head of a series of ideas, the very concept or idea or form itself, which breaks, on analysis into all the different geometrical shapes we know, And then the principle of feeling, I like it and I don’t like it, and then the principle of purpose or prime urge directed towards being.
Are we going too slow?
So he said so that in the word may be understood that in what the Spirit has conceived either in good or evil. He said, by the form of the word, if you analyse it you will be able to discover whether the Spirit at the back of it which the sentient, generative energy which made that word is good or evil, simply by examining the form of the word. The whole of his doctrine and of the doctrine of signitures and of the nature language of the pre-baba language, depends upon this statement. By examining the form of the word we can discover whether the driving force is good or evil. Evil we will discover is that which is contrary to life and that which isolates, puts individuals, into themselves and cuts off all relations with other individuals. Because life itself is a relation and even if an entity exists, if we cut off from all other entities and all dynamic interrelations of constituent forces then it is dead and is an evil. So we could then proceed to analyse words in terms of whether they further our life or decrease it. If it furthers our life we will say that the Spirit that generated that word is a good one and if it and if it is against our life we will say the Spirit that generated it is a bad one, an evil one. And with this signature he enters into another man’s form and awakens also in the other such a form on the signature, so that both form assimilate together in one form and then there is one comprehension, one will, one Spirit, and one understanding and some of our top line politicians would think about that if they wanted one for one understanding, one Spirit, one will, one comprehension, they could get it by willing it. And they way they would do it would be to discover the similitude in the parties, consider discussion, bring the similitude to the top where they could both see it. In other words, put their cards on the table, face up, so that both sides could see it, and providing they were really doing that, they would have one will, one comprehension, one understanding.
Now, the fact that we find in discussions, particularly between big men in the power field, not of putting of cards on the table and of not of replying to questions in the form the questions requires, but to divert them, something like the one Kruschov did every time he was asked a question which could have been replied to with yes or no, he raised something quite different, historical problem of the past and used it as a diversion, because he had no will to come to an agreement.
Now this fundamental will is the same as the Spirit, and this will is precipitating the argument and if the will of that person is not to agree then no amount of work by another will can make it agree. So that great Man, said, even if two men, only two men come together, if they come together without the will to agree, then they won’t agree. We find Bohme with this very clearly in his mind that if you wish to communicate with other beings, you state clearly whether you want them to think about ideas or to discover whether they are liked or disliked or to say what is their basic direction, what it is they are trying to bring to be, if you say that, put your own statements forward and if they do the same with you then you must come to one will, one comprehension and one understanding. There can be no further ground of disagreement.
So where there is a ground of disagreement it can only be in the will. Now it is because of this fact that it can only be in the will, that we find in religion, the statement that their exists beings whose fundamental will is to put themselves out of relation with other beings. They do so in order to be able to manipulate the other being as things as means to an end. There are two kinds of beings described as human, one them is the being who strives always to cut off the relation so that he can pursue his own private purpose and the other one it the being who doesn’t like private purpose and is trying to increase communication in order to establish relation because he believes that relation is more lively, more beneficial, fuller than absence of relation.
Now I won’t go any further than that at the moment
Have you anything more to say about reading in a slow manner like this? We have read two paragraphs
The one thing that immediately occurs to me is you don’t get that sort of stuff out of dictionaries.
Oh yes, but it is hard work, it is hard work. I don’t say you will get it out of Blackie’s[ ] dictionary for schools although there is some good elementary etymology in that. You can get it if you have the energy to chase the things to their roots. If instead of stopping with a modern English Dictionary like the single volume Oxford which gives you a contemporary significance and makes little attempt to say any more then you are not doing the work. If you chase that word back to its roots in whatever language you will discover what it meant to the Ancients who used it and then you can then discover the steps whereby which it received its present corrupt significance. And in doing so you are discovering the methods whereby some men have duped some other men by falsifying terms. If you take that fact of sig if you try to trace signature you will come back to this root sig, sigma whence we get the word stigma. That was a mark like the mark of Cain it was a letter that they didn’t like so they threw it out of the alphabet. They didn’t like it because it had to do with this primary sin of separate aim. In the same way they threw out in certain parts of Greece they threw out the letter Q because of its sexual reference. It upset them so they threw out ‘koppa’ and used ‘kappa’. So when they come up against a concept and they don’t like the significance they throw it away.
And this is what we mustn’t do if we are to pray properly.
In the act of prayer we take all measures look at it and affirm it so we can’t have a misunderstanding say like a young minister with the best of intentions might get through and find himself ordained and then find he has got a congregation of people perhaps thirty years older than himself. How can he possibly understand their motives unless he first understands his own. And how can the perception of his motives so young, reveal to him their ancient motives unless fundamentally they haven’t changed Now if he examines himself and discovers that he is just as big a villain now as he was when he was two he might find that some of the older members of the congregation haven’t moved from his position either. And if he knows that underneath, all his thinking is a mode of devising means whereby he can fulfil his will, then he will begin to comprehend the people, even if they are considerably older than himself because he will see that you can’t move from these primary fundamental facts. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you have either got an idea of the feeling of motive or you are less than human. And if you have it won’t be very different from that of a child. Because fundamentally it is the will to satisfy itself to fulfil its likings , avoid its disliking and to rationalise its mode of getting them.
[ ] going to speak of these people who are working to cut off another part... there are only two directions....
There are notes.
You have to be very careful about this let us consider very carefully the dialectics of cutting off. When a power man, a man who like wielding power over others wants to cut himself off he only wants yo cut himself off from a portion of himself namely the part that would feel compass who he tends to treat as meat. But he doesn’t want to cut himself off absolutely from them because if he does he can’t utilise them. So he has a self-contradiction. There is something in him he wants to remain in contact with the people he wants to separate himself from. And simultaneously, the people who want to increase relation there is a dialectical presence, a principle that says you cannot disappear in the relation, it is still you relating, still you trying to agree So these two things that are opposites are opposite really, not in their dialectical content but in the stress placed upon it. As the Tao Te Ching says, “It is as hard to stand out from the crowd as oit is to get lost in it, it is as hard to get lost in the crowd as it is to stand out from it.” If you try to merge with the crowd going like this, merging as hard you can, the people next to you say, “ What do you mean by merging like that?” you see. If you decide to stand out they will immediately detect that you are standing on your tiptoes and pull you down. And this is because of the dialectical nature of being. Your value in life is that derived from functional relations which enhance formal presentation in consciousness. Consciousness is enriched by formal presentation. It is therefore enriched by increase relation. To get this enriched consciousness you must relate but the reason for relating is always is always to enrich your consciousness.
On the other hand, if you try to enrich your consciousness and cut off the relation you are decreasing the very thing you are trying to increase. And Christ says, “If you try to preserve your life you will lose it,” he means if you isolate yourself you are losing relation, and relation is the essential part of the development of your life. In relation there is an exchange of energies. People in relation, functionally, in their urges, their affections, their reasons are living at a higher level than people living in isolation. So if you try to preserve your life by complete isolation all you do is die. On the other hand if, in the pursuit of an enriched life you rush into all relations the logical end of it would be that you would have no life of your own. You would be absorbed in the lives of other people. But that is impossible, any more than a man who tries to isolate himself.
Yes well that is what the existentialists are talking about. A thing like absolute isolation is an abstract idea no existant being could possibly experience it. In the same way that absolute giving of yourself away to other people so that there is nothing left is also dialectically impossible. These extremes cannot be fulfilled. What can be fulfilled is that the full value of relation can begin by an individual providing he relates himself to the full extent of his energies and yet retains, reflexively the lessons of the relation. You need a certain amount of energy going out into other people to produce the stimulus back onto himself and he needs to work on himself so that he can give something to other people in the relation. So there is a continuous reciprocal flow of energy. If he tries to do either he will discover that he is doing the opposite. So Christ says if you try to gain your life, you will lose it, but if you try to lose it you will find it because you discover you can’t give it away. Take your very best and secret idea. Try to explain it to other people to the best of your ability. See if in the very act of explaining your idea you have really communicated it and whether you have communicated something different, an approximation which leaves you with more work to do.
How do I know what is my most secret idea?
Well you will have to stop hiding from yourself in order to discover it. Your most secret idea is your most sacred idea. Secret and sacred are the same word. What is that in you that you do not want other beings to touch? That is your most sacred idea. You can define if you think very, very carefully, what wouldn’t I like people to get their hands on in me? What wouldn’t I like their minds to probe into and when you have found that thing that is your most sacred idea, your most secret idea. Then try to give it away See if you can do it without boring somebody stiff.
This is one of the things about guilt in psychiatric treatment. Very, very often a person is full of guilt. You penetrate to their guilt, what are they feeling guilty about? They won’t tell you it is a secret, it is too terrible. Now, after a lot of work you finally discover the thing that they are feeling guilty about. The real reason that they don’t want to know about it is, it is so little, it is so insignificant. It is much better to put that thing in the dark and let it in the dark lose its edges, lose its clarity and thus seem big and big and big than have any sense of power. But supposing your secret idea is a very, very simple one namely that you feel so very, very tiny, that you dare not let anybody know that you are that small. You are as small as a grain of mustard seed and the might hasn’t operated in you. You have not yet grown so that all the birds of the air can come and rest in you. That is the secret idea that nobody wants touching inside you. They feel like a little potential of what they might become but they haven’t become it yet, they are just a potential. And they don’t want anybody to touch that potential in case it might stop it becoming actual.
Now that is the secret idea inside everybody, that they have untold potential and that if you put your finger on it it might wither. And in the case of Skeat’s dictionary, Skeat being a clergyman, wherever a word had what we might call, ‘unmentionable roots he just calmly said [nothing about it] and leave it because he doesn’t worry to think about such a rude thing. Rude means back to the root and at the root is power, just power pushing things about, and if people get to the root of events they will realise that people are trying to push them about in a primitive manner and they use every weapon they can get. Fantastic residuals of the mind, fogging o the liking and disliking process you see and definite tugging on the primitive urge because that is the thing they are knocking with (knock, knock).That is why [ like a division prudes ] and why the people in power condemn this whist in jolly good Zen Judo this is the centre of consciousness because it is from here that you get the real blow power, belly power they[ record it ] It is the principle of unity. This is the principle of plurality (head) and this partakes of this and this(Chest and choice of like/dislike) so it is duality with one side plural and the other side negative and the whole of the trouble of this by religions, but not by religious founders, by organised religions is simply because this thing has no regard whatever for any fabrication of the mind that cuts across its purpose because it knows that the fabrication of the mind of other men are merely fabrication made by their will to fulfil their purpose by [ ing] them with reasons.
Say Shakespeare, in As You Like It makes fun of the ladies when he says “Come lady make good reasons.”
Conceived in the essence.
Could you on those.
Well that is a cutting process together, you see. The thing is seen in this sentient substance, it is seen.
Oh no it is seen. When we do all these wriggles you can focus your eyes, I can do it on the curtains, I can deliberately look at something that might look like a face. You see. Now I see it and I see certain elements of the pattern of the curtain together, that is conceiving, and then I get a pair of scissors and cut them out you see.
That is formulated?
That is taking the principle into form. The fact is the essence of it is always in sentiency and right at the back of it is what? It is really [ ] in the Bible when it says God loved the world therefore, therefore He loved the world therefore, but this love is simply a working power to develop potentials into actuality. And one man, in pursuit of his expression with his eyes wide open, may detect that another man expression over there might cut across his market So he sends him a message saying I hear from a secret source of the government have decided to put a tax on that
commodity next week. If this trick stops him well the first fellow has succeeded.
You spoke about tonally linking words and lat[ ] linking words as sub... the same letter in different words, mix them altogether in your mind and when you say the same tone words how do you mean?
Yes. Well say, the tone used by Vera Lynn has linked together in the minds of many lads in the forces during the war, a whole series of words that would never have been linked, factually. You know that popular songs get remembered quite mechanically in their form. The rhythm and the emotional tone on it has tied them together. So you get a whole block of songs, somebody mentions one and immediately a dozen others come up and actually, these things, put into the mind rhythmically and emotionally, with tone, by torch singers and others have a peculiar effect on the life pattern of the person with them which you can observe, very amusingly, by noticing that when people are thinking throughout the day, every now and then, they will start humming a tune. Now if you catch the tune that they are humming you have got an indication of the dominant idea in their mind. And if you are in the habit of humming to yourself, if you watch the tune that occurs to you and immediately say, “What was the context in which this tune was engrammed on me at its most emotionally intense?” you will discover that you had a thought process which triggered off this tune. And as this tune was triggering off the associations that made the thought processes
Would that account for you humming the tune that irritated you in midstream.
So was there one part that another part quite clearly disapproved of in it.
Oh yes. I watched fellows who were suddenly made aware of the tune they were singing would blush just by simply making you think you are singing such and such a tune and that was popular in 1943. Deep blush spread over the face. ‘cause they know what triggered it off, and because of the rhythm and the tone associations in music there is more power in the mnemic field in song than there is in the unsung prose. There is more power in poetry than there is in prose. There is more power in a song, a poem sung than there is in a poem said because of its tone, emotive association. So if you w anted to commit to memory a string of irregular verbs or something and you laid them out and sang them you would find that you could commit them together that way than by slave prose exercise.
Hence the [ ] on TV.
On the advertising side, yes.
In that word association exercise, do you not appear to get at the beginning a rational association when you say up, up, ah, me.
Is that the stage where you start getting these tone associations?
Yes, ah yes the other one is simply the product of the line of least resistance, because most of you thinking has been done by pseudo rational forms and underneath it there has been a motive that you never dared know about, because it would be frowned upon, to examine how often you had done a good turn that wasn’t. You can do what the mystics have experienced and begin to think that you are the worst man in the world, you never had a decent motive ever, you see. So you find the author of this book, St Paul and many mystics and they all say, “Because of egotism I am the worst man in the world,” technically because they are not. They are no more [egoic] than that new born baby girl and you couldn’t be worse than that. The fact is that every human being has in it exactly the same as every other human being it is only stressed differently and whether they kick you on Tuesday and forgive you on Wednesday or forgive you on Tuesday and cheat on Wednesday it is a matter of stress, that is all, but they will do both on Thursday and Friday.
Until that time you can accept that fat completely and then you are only part of
That’s right and you are not praying properly It isn’t accidental that relation between prey and prayer you know[ ] it is like the praying mantis you know, you know that lovely little insect[with its hands like this, you know, it is called the preying mantis which is, of course a preying creature really. And he goes like this, keeps his head like this, when he sees a little fly he goes [thwack] you see. It is so-called because of the observed behaviour of praying gentlemen.
It is a vicious little insect isn’t it?
A girl I knows had one as a pet in Israel for quite a long time. She found it very dull [thwack]Like a woman watching the Venus Fly Trap on TV last night being closed “Oh isn’t it pretty.” The mere thought of going like this.
Did you see the diplomat who was interviewing the last tourist
Well I must retire.