The Witch’s Sieve
In the eternal recurrence you have to understand what time is. Now, the earth on a Monday isn’t in the same position as it is on Tuesday, is it? Because in one year it goes ---but the sun is also on the move. And if we remember that action is a mode of operation of power in space and that the earth on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday is in a different space, then we can say in the place where the earth was last Monday, there is still Monday. As a vibrational fact, not a mere potentiality. At the point of death, remember the girl friend that he had that was very kind to him, in another life ahead of himself, he wheels back into the very same resonance pattern, not another one, the same one, so his life becomes identical. Because he has come back into the same place. If you can see that the extension of space infinitely contains all formal actualities in that big sphere and that each place – Christ says that every man goes into his place – each place is a form of activity and you can become so attached to certain places that at the cessation of your physical life your desire for that same experience is so strong that it whips you back into exactly the same situation that you were in before.
Question: Is it a principle of magic that’s caused you to go back? Magic is only the establishment of your will. Now how to avoid this repetition, the eternal recurrence? Friedrich Nietzsche was obsessed with this idea, and he said that you can afford to do it in an identical manner, hm? And that requires what we call this paleopistophane of Plato that wants you to turn back on yourself and say, “Have I done this before?” This is very very important. Get that sentence into your brainbox. Have I done it before? Was it worth it? Did it give me what I wanted? Something is on your tongue you’re about to say. Before you say it, say “what am I going to say? why am I going to say it? Is it going to produce the result that I want? If it is not, stop it. Because if you don’t, it is part of the cycle that was layed by the previous magic of your ancestors in you. So the only way you can escape from the dictatorship of tradition and of your ancestors is this epistraphy, this back-turning of yourself on yourself, serpent with his tail in his mouth and he bites himself and says “I am doing the biting and not my ancestors”, to do it you must have the right verbal form. So you must say to yourself, “I am turning back to examine inside myself my action tendency, if there is an inclination it proves previous experience somewhere. Because I can’t have an inclination of which I know nothing. For instance, if I say to you, how would you like to eat, what is it, from the jungles of where is it, that...how, well would you like it?
Man in audience: “You don’t know what it is”.
Eugene: “You don’t know what it is. Now, this is very very important, you don’t know anything about it, unless you had some experience. But supposing I said the thing I was thnking about was a pineapple, and immediately there arises a feeling relationship. Either you like it or you don’t. Maybe you like the inside and not the outside. Maybe you have never eaten that tuft on the top, but there arises the feeling relation with it when you know something about it. This is why Socrates said, “All learning is remembering. Adopting of anamnesis is the idea that you are as a soul perfect and whole and omniscient before you get pushed into a body. Once you get put in a body you are battered by sense impression and you forget your omniscience and you become serialised in that dianoic process, discursive reasoning begins. And as long as you are reasoning discursively you cannot grasp the whle sphere which you were original. In order to regain your omniscience, first of all you must find out the inclination in yourself and stop it. So get to that big rule, “Don’t spoil your vehicle of experience, don’t destroy your body. Subject to that rule, if you feel inclined to do something, don’t. If you feel inclined not to do it, DO. And that quite independently of whether it’s what you call ‘a good act’ or a bad act, because there is really only one evil, and that is slavery, and some people can’t help patting a small child on the head as they go down the street. So if you put a row of children in the alley, they’ll go like that on all the heads. And it feels terrible if you miss one, that’s mechanics, isn’t it? Now, we say there is no inertia other than the inertia of previously established will. That means that every inclination we’ve got proves that we have already done something like it before. We have forgotten where and when, but we have done it, because as we say, the proof is, we don’t want to eat that thing unless I tell you what it is. So if you once realise that bondage is bondage to your memory, and it’s the worthless weight of your memory dictating to you, you would really be free. And that requires this continuous back-spin of the conscious, back away from the external environment where the stimulus comes from, something comes at you, if it comes, catch it. Stop the immediate reaction, otherwise it is a simple knee-jerk. As it rotates, look at it and say, ‘what is the meaning of this stimulus? Am I inclined to respond by destructive activity or constructive activity? Do I want to go to it or away from it?’ Ask yourself those questions and be absolutely honest with yourself. There is no good pulling your own leg, maybe of use to pull somebody else’s. If you do that, you’ll discover that most of the things that you tend to do you you do not want to do. You will say, they won’t lead me towards freedom. And as it is freedom we have defined as the thing we are pursuing, nd we know that freedom ultimately means the gaining of the end – seek first the freedom of heaven and all things will be added – heaven is equilibration of power and it is only in the balance of power that freedom consists, not in inclination. When you are free, when you incline, gravity gets, you will fall. So really, when a man is upright, if that man allows himself to incline, he is responsible for the inclination. He is not responsible for the fact that once inclined he falls flat on his face. He is only responsible for the inclination of the will. In Christianity, (before Christianity it didn’t happen) but in Christianity, what became important was not whether you do a thing or don’t do a thing but whether your will inclined to do it or not to do it Prior to Christianity, the statement about morality was it is action, good or bad. With Christianity, when Christ said, the man that looks at that lady and wants to take her out, eve though he lacks the opportunity, he is guilty. What he meant to say was that the inclination is there and if it is not killed, even if he doesn’t manage to take that one out because she is with hubby (husband),nevertheless, the same instinct, with a slight change of environment, would take her into a newsreel (?) or something. The inclination of the will is the thing we are responsible for. Often a person is aware of that internally today, but they did not use to be aware of it, before 2000 years ago they weren’t aware of it; they actually thought – because their governing concept was ‘action is either right or wrong’ – if you look at Plato you’ll find he defines the good as the efficient, and the good is the efficient as defined by Plato. That is to say, a good screw-driver is one that turns the screw and a bad one is one that won’t. And that is not really a moral statement at all, and is not an ethical statement and it isn’t a spiritual statement. It is a statement about fitness for a purpose.
When we come to the work of magic, the work of changing yourself, which is an act of will, it can only be in the initial inclination of the will. Do you wnat to be free or not? If we say to some people, do you want to be free, they say, ‘what’s free?’ If we define very carefully what freedom means and the absence of it, supposing we say if you are free other people can’t push you around, and supposing he is a very negative character, and so he says, ‘but I like being pushed around – because I don’t push myself around very well – and other people push me arond, they make me go and enjoy myself, in pubs and parties and all sorts, so to that fellow, to the negative fellow, to be free is not the thing he desires, because he is on pleasure bent, and therefore he does not want to come out of it by his own effort. The only man who would prefer freedom is a man who has already been in some kind of bondage. So unless you fall down, (when you are a kid, you are running all over the place, if you don’t fall down on the gravel and cut your knees a bit, then you won’t run with any care. Care, the ability to care for yourself, watchfulness arises only from suffering. This means to say that if you had all your own way from the moment you were born, you would be an obnoxious creature, with no understanding, no compassion, nothing. You would be inhuman because you had never failed.
Therefore you could not understand in other people why they failed. For which purpose all souls are put into gross material bodies which are automatically inefficient and because it is inefficient and separates the being involved in it from its good, it is called the body of sin. ‘Sin’ means separation. It doesn’t mean anything else. When you are separated, disitnegrated, cut off from your good, then that is sin. So when it is called the body of sin, it means that is the means whereby you are separated. But if you do not suffer, and ‘suffer means ‘to be passive’, suffer a stimulus, so the stimulus can ...your activity, so that you are not free and as a result of your lack of freedom you suffer pain and the pain makes you wish that you had more control, and you find you haven’t got it because no man can get it unless God wills, when you have suffered enough pain, you begin to realise that all the other sufferers round about you are in the same boat, there then begins to arise compassion in you for those other people. And that isn’t the same thing as sentimentality. Genuine compassion for genuine suffering. And then it becomes no longer necessary for you to suffer in the same way. But until you get that universal compassion, it is inevitable that you will make mistakes, because you have been put into a body of sin, that is a body of disintegration, your physical body, disintegrated by the five sense messages, in order to educate you for precisely that universal awareness that results in the absolute tolerance of all beings.
Question: “That is to say that unless you have sufficient things to put you into that state you can’t get that compassion.”
Eugene: That’s true. Luckily most of us don’t need to go looking for it, do we?
Eugene: We find it. We don’t find as much as we might, you know. If we looked a little farther and a little more often, we might be able to find some little sufferings, and we can do this, we can find sufferings which are necessary for us, providing we remember that we must not go on an inclination. Because inclination is always to avoid suffering. Or to pursue the pleasant.
Man: “Would you say that even if you weren’t aware of what suffering can do for you providing you had sufficient of it, it would still do it, it would still happen to you, you would still get that compassion?”
Eugene: Well, when you say that you are not aware of it, of course, you mean that relatively, because if we take a brick and we hit it with a hammer, every day say for about say five thousand years, it doesn’t become a moral being at the end of that time and it doesn’t develop compassion for other bricks or even for the hammer that’s hitting it.
Man: “No, but I mean, you said that if you are aware what suffering is happening to you and then you start to look at other people, you get this compassion. Some people suffer and then immediately become resentful...
Eugene: ...of the suffering ?
Man: “Well, of the suffering and even towards other people
Eugene: Other people are the cause of the suffering. See, if you must suffer, please don’t do it where I can see you because you disturb me. That has been said often enough, hasn’t it? Take your toothache into the next room, you are disturbing me. As long as that is the state of affairs, you are bound to be hammered more and more by events.
Khen: Well, I think that means actually that the sufferer themselves, instead of getting compassion for those around them suffering, he is resentful and puts the cause of their suffering upon the other beings.
Eugene: Well, he hasn’t suffered enough then, and he will get more suffering. Because at least he will cause resentment in the sufferer for lack of sympathy. The important thing to realise is this, that in this concept of the recurrence you can be attracted by the pleasant and made to go back to the same pub or whatever it was for ever. It runs through the whole of mythology and fairy-story lore
That you can go back and repeat yourself through pursuit of pleasure and also pursuit of revenge. You remember the fellow who deprived you and you are determined to do him again.
Khen: He in the meantime, of course, may have evolved.
Eugene: May have, may not be there.
Khen: No, that’s what I mean. If you go back to that situation, how can you guarantee to find him there?
Eugene: Well, if you look in the...
Woman: back into the situation...
Eugene: That’s another situation.
Man: Then you go to somebody else.
Eugene: That happens, doesn’t it? Kick the dog or something. Or even kick your father because you prefer
Khen: This is bound up with the idea of distance again, isn’t it. Keeping your distance from the people that originally what you might have what you call hated because you found them close to you, whereas later, when you get a certain amount of compassion you hold them at a particular distance, but there is a point here that puzzles me, and that is: if you keep people at that particular distance, the sooner you love them they hate you, where are you in relation to them? On their back, the same as we said before?
Eugene: If they hate you?
Khen: Say there is a relationship where you genuinely are fond of somebody, you see, or should we say genuinely keep them in their right place, whererver they move to, but they are so busy hating you – does that bring you close to them?
Eugene: As far as they are concerned, but not as far as you are concerned.
Khen: You mean, you don’t notice it? (Laughs)
Eugene: You wouldn’t be there. This is one of the hardest things to understand. In the spiritual world, where everything is everything and each is all and all is each you can be in two totally different relationships with the same being at the same time. A can hate B and be obsessed with the presence of B and B can love A so much it doesn’t even know that A is there because it is thinking about D.
Eugene: And that happens in the room very very often.
Khen: I was going to say,
Eugene: Given the chance, I’d go, you see, and that so-and-so at that moment is thinking kind thoughts about that person at the same time having a nice conversation with another person. You see, distances in spirituality are distances to do with nothing at all of the space-time concept of your gross physical body.
Khen: Well they do work in the gross physical body, don’t they? I mean, if we do hate somebody, we’ll find that physically they are very wary of coming in contact with them.
Eugene: Yes, but you say physically, where of course the physical world is never a cause. Physical worlds cannot be causes in the sense.
Khen: ...No, I am not seeing them as causes, I am seeing them as...
Eugene: ...as facts,
Khen: As facts, yes,
Eugene: But the real cause is the soul state. If you think about somebody I hope I never see him again in all my life, and reall mean it, you immediately send a message to him that says I hope I never see you again in all my life and he says, “What?” he’ll say let’s go and see him immediately.
In other words, you have biased him. This is why this state in Yoga, vidagya means higher indifference. You go beyond hating him and thereby you are liberated. And yet you can’t deceive yourself. You can’t deliberately attain indifference in order to get rid of him. Either you attain it and you are liberated or you fool yourself and the fellow knocks on the door. It is tremendously important to understand what it means that space is, in the real sense, spirit. But the usual sense of the word space is an extension which implies a contraction. Supposing we say there is a certain amount of space and there is a body n it. And we say that body is a contraction of force, because we can melt it and it expands. We can heat it more and it becomes a gas and expands more and more. Supposing we take a spiral nebulae which is a big mass of gas twisting in and gradually contracting and becoming cooler and becoming a world. Supposed there is a contraction, and where it is contracted, it has obviously exhausted a zone round about it of matter. That exhausted zone we call space, don’t we? And this part we call the space, that is the pi-law, so and the space is the part that has been exhausted, and the place is that location where a certain kind of activity has been posited. This is a statement about our sense organs. I look at that pencil and I see carbon there condensed, but if I run an electric current through it I can turn it into light and start showing films on the wall with it etc. Now, when we think of that expanding and becoming like radiating away, it is travelling through what we call space, but the funny thing about space is, space is not matter and it has nothing at all to do with matter, space is spirit, and spirit is absolutely omnipresent, which is the same thing as saying it is solid, that is nowhere where it is not. In this sense there is no such thing as something not in contact with everything, because the cause, the final cause is the end to which everything tends, and the final cause is the same as the thing, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, they are identical, they are both up there and we go down. If we say, there is alpha there and there is omega there, and the process goes right round, and this we call the time process of the soul, and the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, are identical, so in that sense there is no concept corresponding to what ordinary people call vacuum, voidity or emptiness, which are three words, in three different languages, all meaning leisure. They only mean leisure, they don’t mean anything else. If you get an ordinary, if you get Wilde’s dictionry, you will find there, which is quite a popular dictionary, those three words mean leisure. Now leisure means this part is laying down, sure is laying down, must be an Irish fellow, and this power propagates itself absolutely and yet being infinite doesn’t go anywhere, because there is nowhere where it is not. It is laying down, that is to say, it is apparently passive as far as we are concerned because we cannot see its activity, we can only see the result at the sense organ level, bt the sense organs are specially blinded. Vision, then a big gap, hearing, then a big gap, smelling, tasting, touching, there are big gaps in between where man knows nothing. The five sense man is five times ignorant man, isn’t he? So there is something going on in the big gaps between his senses. Actually in the visible spectrum only one twenty-seventh of all the vibrations is known to us on the eye. From the visible spectrum. So you can see we don’t know much. And it is just in these in-between spaces where this power is at leisure. And it is absolutely solid. And if we want to contact spirit, we have to stop seeing with this physical eye so that we can into the gap between. We’ve got to understand all the frequencies. The whole gamut of vibrations with the five big gaps, and the gaps are much bigger than the part we can see. Just like an iceberg, it has more underneath the water than it has showing. So when we think , we call it a final cause, which is that idea of a good which you have in your mind before you reach it. That we call the final cause. An efficient cause is when you are contemplating a force doing the work. But there aren’t any efficient causes other than a final cause, because nothing moves a man or anything else other than its final state.