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BEGINNERS GROUP– 1929-1930.
This copy for Jessie Orage
The normal Being wishes to five forever.
Normal man is one who not only has actualized his inherited potentialities but has freed himself from his subjectivity.
The happy person is one who is striving to actualize his potentialities.
The psyche never passes out of existence which has been neutralized.
Literally we are living In the Body of God. God is not a perfected thing. He has given Himself eternal time to accomplish His perfection.
We are made in the image of God. God’s fancy is immortality.
Implicit is It in the pattern that man should find himself In the same situation that God found Himself in. He has shared with us His suffering that we might also share in His creation.
God can maintain the Universe by Himself without help, but God Is also good and He wished a fulfillment for beings in the Universe that they also may enjoy bliss and become Sons – that they may enter into the psychology of the Being who created the World.
Suffering is the price of endlessness.
Our fulfillment is imposed upon us. This may be called justice.
This wish to live constitutes a Being. If God wished to live He has shared that wish with all of us. He has also provided the means by which that wish to live may exist forever.
Once being alive there is no choice; we must live forever. The representative of God in any individual is that which tells him how or what God would do in any situation. Your powers are to actualize your presence. This is your money in the bank, your cash, your earning ability.
To advance in this sphere you must act as God’s emissary. “This is life eternal, to know the living God.”
The Being In essence is in the moving sub-center of the emotional center. This is where one’s pure acme is found, and is said to be of the material of God. His movements are straight from the Heart. God, as Being, is there in The Heart.
Essence is a chemical deposit from the Sun and planets of the Solar system entering Earth beings at the time of conception. In man this affects the region of the solar plexus. It is unlike any of the chemicals found on this planet and links man to the Cosmos. As the chemicals of man return to their natural state at death, so do these chemicals return to their sources.
The leaves of a tree recur annually, but not the same leaves. There is leaf ability. The leaves are recurrent but not the identical leaves. The change between each leaf and its predecessor differs only by the change in the tree from season to season. The tree is the block of essence, the leaves are the human beings; the free remains not by its leaves but by its seeds. When the seed falls it has the potentiality of repeating the whole tree. The leaf is recurrent, the seed reincarnates. A leaf cannot be said to inherit anything from the life of the previous leaf; there is no use made of the previous leaf, no continuity, but it springs from the same block of essence. We, like the leaves, recur without any continuity.
Time is the most important thing next awareness. The flow of time through us gives us our chance to extract what we can. Time is a three-fold stream passing through our three centers. We fish in the stream, what we catch is ours, what we don’t is gone. Time does not wait for us to catch all in the stream. If we catch enough we have enough to create the three bodies and become enduring.
Time is the sum of our potential experiences, the totality of our possible experiences. We live our experiences successively; this is the first dimension of Time. To be able to live experiences simultaneously is adding another or second dimension to Time. To be aware of this simultaneity Is called solid time, or the third dimension of Time. When we have identified ourselves with Time it will be as Revelation says: “And Time shall be no more.”
Just at that moment when we can say: “the thing that is happening to me”, will we be safe.
I beg you before starting on this journey to question – you are plunging into the dark; here is a little lamp; I show you how to rub it; make sure you know how to rub it.
Conscious labor consists of having an objective in life as a life aim, an aim which can be pursued the whole of your life. It does not depend on the vicissitudes of life. It is the aim for which you took the trouble to be born. You assume first of all that you are an immortal being, you give yourself unlimited time. If you keep this aim through this life you will have an aim strong enough to persist after this life – an aim big enough to persist through an immortal existence.
November 9th, 1934.
Compiled from my four note books on Orage’s “Group” talks, for you, Jessie.
Are they not wider and deeper in significance than anything we are likely to find.
October 7, 1929
We take it for granted that one of the major interests of man is the study of mankind.
Our relations with others and their relations with us our orime interest. Some may claim to be or seem to be more interested in art but we will find even with them 90% of their interest is in human relations.
As important a part of fife as human relationships play in life, still they are governed according to whims. Our likes and dislikes of people are arbitrary.
When we are shown that this is so we are at a loss for a criterion. That we have no better criterion is childish. This in children 1$ child-like but this state in adults is childish and unsuitable.
For the moment there seems no other standard than “I like” and “I don’t like.” What standard is there for judging otherwise? This is a difficult question to answer because we have not considered it.
This method, which we call “The Method of Objective Judgment”, applied to ourselves, is very much more simple than we might imagine.
Conjure up a picture, see in your mind’s eye some one you know; a friend, a relative you know well, and then estimate them without curiosity about them. Repeat this with other friends, a hundred, the more the better. You will find you have more content in your own mind.
There is little difference in the experiences of different people but the difference consists mainly in what they do with their experiences.
One form of food is what we eat. The importance is not so much in the quality and quantity as in the digestion of it. Experience is another form of food.
“The understanding of a human being, according to my understanding, is the beginning of wisdom.”
When you have given your best and impartial judgment of people the chances are you are wrong. We may hope to arrive at a judgment a little less biased but the chances are our judgment about our most familiar friend is completely wrong. This is to say our present judgment is doomed to be not just fragmentary, but completely wrong. The quality to judge impartially is something to work toward. Now we are judging on the same basis as the animals.
It may be said with the equipment of science, with laboratory methods, one might be expected to be nearer correct – with the history and inheritance before us, etc. We say, the greater the variety of material you collect, the less liable are you to be right. It is not in the quality and quantity of your equipment brought to bear that you arrive at correct judgment of the material.
We do not propose in these classes to collect facts about other people. We are satisfied with the smallest amount of material. We are not interested in psychoanalysis; that is barking up another free. We are interested in the quality of the judgment brought to bear on our material, much or little. We are primarily interested with ourselves as judging agents the proper study of every individual is himself or herself.
This is an absolute statement.
Only he who has attempted to judge himself can have an idea of judging any one else. Otherwise his judgments are made by his subjective self. The first subject of study for anyone who aims to be adult is himself or herself.
How do we know anyone at all? By what means did you arrive at such conclusions as you have made about the person you have in mind? Not under what circumstances did you meet them but how did you come to know them?
Have you a claim to a private approach – intuition, clairvoyance?
We none of us have any knowledge of the state of emotion in which our dearest friend may be standing only a few feet away. If interested in the scientific side read McDoogal, “Psychology of the Crowd.”)
Illustration – The man blinded in a raging crowd was serene until his blindfold was removed.
The only evidence you have that i am here is my manner of behavior, tone of voice, posture, gesture, movements and facial expressions. Suppose it were dark, would you know I was here? Suppose I were bursting with emotion – would you like to sit in the dark and read my mind?
The work of reason is not completed when you discover something is untrue. When you think you have intuition disclaim it; disclaim your prejudice; clip away all such preconceived ideas and feelings – this is the beginning of your education – to remove obstacles to your discovery of truth.
The only material for judgment we can collect regarding others reduces itself to the five manners of behavior. Change your tone of voice and you deceive the other person. Many friendships have been made and broken by tones of voice. When we hear a tone of voice like that of a nurse in childhood or our mother’s voice we say,”I like that person” or “I don’t like that person” without the slightest idea of why.
You don’t go to Columbia to study tones of voice of others, but among your friends you give your attention to tones of voice. You will learn tones that issue will be as exact as tones issuing from a motor car.
We might say as you interest yourself in theoretical psychology you lessen your interest in practical psychology and vice versa.
A Columbia professor has written a book on gestures. There are gradations of tones of voice of which we know nothing and do not use. .
We have all been taken by the smile of Mona Lisa; perhaps it was not her smile that Leonardo just put it there.
Facial expressions are constantly changin. A poker face can be read by a poker reader. Faces change slowly sometimes; we say “her face lit up” or “her face fell” but generally the change is slow and the one least consclous of the change is oneself.
A facial expression is a dial or a total barometer of the person at the moment. It is a three-fold compound of the state of the works of the total mechanism of the organism. A clock dial changes progressively; a face changes successively according to the organism.
Over a period of time, being with a person, we arrive at conclusions. By any one of these manners of behavior understood we can arrive at judgment; by any three, we certainly can.
Movement is the passage between postures. Carriage, deportment. Our postures are characteristic of our training, (Illustration ironworkers in England sitting on their heels.)
Each of these is a language with grammar, syntax, style. These are the only occult languages in the world. There is nothing occult, nothing concealed. Everything is open to those who can read the text, no one can trick them.
It is not what they say but what they do which is the language people speak sincerely.
Whether you think it now or not, when you have to think about it you will realize all your judgments of others are based on these five languages, badly, incorrectly read.
It I have taken from you your belief in your intuition, clairvoyance, emotional understanding, I have given you something in its place.
We are hot here, if you continue to attend, primarily to get to know others by these languages we are not interested in anyone else; we are interested in ourselves that we may come to form objective judgments.
By the only means by which we can come to know others can we come to know ourselves.
I do not expect you to agree with me at once.
Nothing which you know of yourselves, emotions, trains of thought, is probably true. When you think you have an understanding of yourself, your facts are wrong, your conclusions are wrong. These conclusions lead to feelings of superiority and inferiority. People are suffering under the illusion that they have an understanding of themselves. It is one chance in a hundred that one reports something correctly about himself. No one is more misinformed about a and b than a and b.
Only when one has passed beyond the stage of passing subjective opinions does one see he has been living in a fool’s bell (or a fool’s paradise) because he has a subjective state as evidence about himself.
If this has had any meaning for you, you will see the next step.
Introspection is a form of lunacy. If this is written in letters of fire some will still say what I am going to say is introspection even though I say to think about yourself, your actions, etc., is already beginning a form of lunacy. We must disclaim to read the minds of others, we must disclaim to read the minds of ourselves. What is there left? There is left the same field to trade in that we trade in in thinking of others: tones of voice, postures, gestures, facial expressions and movements. This Method intended eventually to arive at self-knowledge and then knowledge of others, begins with observing these five forms of behavior, to be aware while they are taking place. You ask, “What is to be arrived at?” I answer, “What is it you want?” We prescribe nothing you shall want, we only ask, “What do you want?” You wish to excel, to be successful in this, that or the other, to have power – it does not matter; every wish from our point of view is holy. To attain whatever you wish, you will need self knowledge and self control. You will need what this Method will infallibly bring about. This Method is of practical value to bring about a wish. Some wishes may change under the Method. A criminal wish cannot survive the observation of your five manners of behavior.
These evenings are more classes than lectures.
Question: What does any one remember from the last meeting?
Answer: Observe concurrently the five manners of behavior: fone of voice, posture,gesture, movements and facial expressions. Why are these five isolated and exclusively dealthwith? We are aware of the reception of impressions in others by deductions from these five manners of behavior. We imagine we can report about ourselves what we are feeling and thinking, – that we have some intuition or clairvoyance which enables us to know and report our own thoughts and feelings correctly. The vast majority of people cannot report their own thoughts and feelings correctly, not even with special training. A trained person uses a telescope; the result is he sees some things more plainly but the telescope limits his range.
Question: How about reading hand writing for evidence?
Answer: Why take anything so minute to read when there are these five languages shouting at us which if we can read, tell us everything?
We cannot depend on what people say, for what they say now they may not say tomorrow.
We do not take as evidence about ourselves what we take as evidence about another.
This Method suggests studying ourselves through the same medium which we use in studying others.
We propose an objective method – not introspection. We propose observing our objective forms of overt behavior.
We are not concerned with reading others; this would be an impertinence until we can do it competently; when we can read ourselves then can we do something about reading of others.
We propose first of all to introduce you to yourselves. You may have a craze for this person walking under your hat; you take a goose for a lion – this is a superiority complex. Or you take a lion for a goose – this is inferiority complex. Or you may have both. If your portrait sat side by side with the sitter you would not recognize the portrait. We say, “I will tell the unvarnished truth about myself,” and what we tell is mere flattery. Again we say, “I will be frank and tell the good about myself,” and this is humility.
When we begin to report on our own posture, gestures, etc., we and others can check up on them, we are not reporting on introspection; we are reporting on something objective. Our movements are few in number.
Our habitual postures are only three or four.
The range of our tones of voice instead of being what it should be – seven octaves, forty-nine notes – is limited to four or five notes.
Our facial expressions – “Oh,for a new face!” – Charles Lamb. We have one face for the breakfast table, another for the office,etc.
Gestures: We have all suffered from gestures in others we do not like.Marriages have been broken up because of some little gesture.
Our self ignorance results in great catastrophes to others and to ourselves. We come to conclusions subjectively about ourselves. Our proposed remedy will make things worse because we have misjudged.
There can be no self improvement without self knowledge. The aim of this group is self-improvement without self knowledge. The beginning step is to beep your eye on the ball – the ball is tone of voice gesture, posture, movements and facial expressions. When you can report on these you can report on the kind of person under your hat.
By introspection you get a caricature; by this Method you get a correct picture. This is a safeguard against seif ignorance and ignorance of others.
We may not always understand ourselves and other and may then say, “I do not understand,” but we must not misunderstand.
It is hopeless to try to trace the origin of our posrues, gestures, etc. We did not get them from our college, our parents, our friends.
Questions With what do we observe?
Answer: Who are you? Who you are is who observes.
Question: What advantage is there to this?
Answer: At present we are under the disadvantage of making many errors in our judgments of ourselves and of others. This is the one exercise which combines in itself all the advantages of all exercises for mental growth.
Question: What evidence have you for these advantage?
Answer: We have to collect evidence as to these advantages before we can pass judgment on this Method. All judgment must be reserved until evidence is collected. Illustration: a court.
What is your own account of your five manners of behavior? If you cannot report we rule you out in a court of essence beings ***
A properly trained boy should be able to understand the Einstein theory of curvature and space.
There is no thought in telling about our small personal experiences of all kinds – how much money we have made, what we have been busy about, etc.
The technique of self knowledge is the technique of techniques. To begin its use select one of your manners of behavior, tone of voice, and say, nI will hear every word I speak as if I were listening to another person. In listening to your own voice, you do not change it, but it changes – becomes more nearly the truth and will give a more truthful report of your thoughts.
Answer: Don’t play with algebra when you have not studied arithmetic. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven” – be as a little child is – concerned with himself. Philosophy goes, psychology goes – nothing is left but animals exhibiting. We never propose to make any use of material we collect; It is the collecting that counts.
When we say,”I have a complete list of my manner of behavior,” then we are getting on.
Don’t classify. Don’t change your manner of behavior when aware, but try to continue if. You will find your manners of behavior change; they undergo change – not that you will change them. It isn’t your emotional reaction-that is to bring about the change. Change comes if it isn’t your motive. If you change because of motive you are not observing correctly- objectively.
Illustration: Case of stammering at Johns Hopkin’s cured by professor telling patient to wait for the stammering and observe it. This released his self-consciousness in his emotional center, the attention being in the mind.
When you find a manner of behavior in yourself which you do not like, try to repeat it. You make the mistake of saying, “I don’t like it.” Instead, repeat the manner you do not like until you cease to dislike it.
Question: Should one repeat a bad action, say murder?
Answer: This does not mean an action – an action is a compound of manners of behavior. We prescribe no change of yourself and to give no time to observatior.
It takes no time, it takes no thought. It suggests no change in your present life. Continue doing exactly what you are doing. Do not trace the stream entering into the exhibition of behavior – the visceral, the spinal, the cerebral. A gesture has three prime colors in if: cerebral, visceral, spinal. These we do not consider; we are interested in the white light – the gesture. Every movement is the epitome of your entire state at the moment.
Question: Do all start alike?
Answer: “I heard a beggar cry and it was me.” – Kipling. He didn’t hear; it was an overtone he heard. This is different than intending to hear. When you begin to observe objectively with intent no one is any better off than any one else. Observation occuring accidentally is no advantage. In intention to observe, we are all, literally every one, at the same point. No one makes more headway than another except by effort. No one can foretell the amount of effort any one will make – not God Himself. No one knows why one, seemingly least probable, makes more effort than others. Dr. Watson, with his training, after listening to a lecture, thought he could continue listening to his voice after hearing himself say, “how do you do.” He soon returned saving he had failed.
If you will be aware, hearing the words flowing from you, you will find yourself saying things more clearly, more logically; it is like taking off a clutch. It relieves the bugbear of what is called. “Self-consciousness”, which is consciousness of others, and you are at ease.
October 21, 1929
We have two states of consciousness: sleeping and waking. When dreaming, one is not aware of being asleep. The material for dreams arises from something that has been in the mind during the previous twenty-four hours.
Try to realize man is a being with three centers: thinking, feeling and instinctive. Seldom does it happen that the three centers are ready to fall asleep at the same time. Two centers go on working after one has fallen asleep. Perhaps one of the other two falls asleep about two o’clock in the morning and the other stays awake until four. In the same order the centers fall asleep they awake. For this reason, when one comes down for breakfast, he is one-third awake; along in the middle of the forenoon he is two-thirds awake, and by luncheon time he is fully awake. After twenty-four years of age people are seldom fully awake in the three centers at once for more than a few minutes during the day. Only in times of stress, war times or times of death are people awake in three centers at a time for more of the day.
Insomnia is caused by one center’s not having had enough exercise during the day and keeping the other centers awake.
Whatever involves intellectual, emotional or physical waste we call immoral.
There are three forms of sleep: sleep in one center, sleep in two centers, sleep in three centers. Sleep in three centers we call complete sleep, or sound,dreamless sleep.
Any one who dreams in a little pathological.
One of the terrors of psychoanalysis is that it tries to induce sleep by other means than prescribing exercises for the under-used center or centers.
Sleep powders affect the blood stream.
When you are asleep nothing should happen in your consciousness. When you report your dream to us we should be able to tell in what center you were not asleep. It it is your emotional center which is not sleeping you are shirking disagreeable emotional situations in life.****
What is spoken of as sex sublimation is not correct. Sex energy in the physical center may become normal and not dominating if the sex energy is also used in the two other centers.
So far human beings are only one form of transforming machines, but the are two other centers capable of transforming sex energy.
Question: What about the catalytic center?
Answer: This is the fourth center.
There is an “I”, a fourth center, a potential soul. If we can say with the same simplicity, “I have a body,” as we say, “I have a car,” we can begin to realize that this body is a possession. “This body is a transforming machine which I have; just as I have a car or a refrigerator, I have a machine to use.” It does not mean, “I am a machine.”
The emotional center is our impressionability ability; our responsiveness to environment.
The intellectual center is our ability to think clearly.
We alert life with three relatively blank centers. These centers differ through heredity. We all start with much the same potentiality of experiences in these three centers, but difference in circumstances make it impossible for all to actualize the same experiences. Being born in China our possibilities of having certain experiences are limited; experiences easily possible in the West are not so in the East, and vice versa. It is said English women are cold; it means they are limited in affection, in passion. At birth these experiences are possible but circumstances make them impossible.
No one ever actualizes all his possibilities of experiences, only a fractional part.
The fourth center does not work miracles; it does not give us any possibility which was not placed within us at birth. Fourth center is consciousness consciousness is something quite exact.
We start lite hereditarily limited and with three blank centers. In life we fill up these three centers. We should derive from them all we can.
The Gurdjieff School was called “The School for Harmonizing the Three Centers of Man.” It was not for developing one center. There are other schools for actualizing one center at a time. The Three Schools of Yoga. * * *
This Method actualizes all three centers simultaneously. Developing one center at a time you become a monster. While all have three centers at birth we might say they vary in size. We all started at a single note at the beginning, at birth. We say a full sized center at birth is 3. A proper distribution at birth of center potentialities would be 3,3,3. But we are never born 3,3,3. We are born with centers limited to a development of 3,2,1; 2,3,1; 2;1,2; 2,2,1; etc. These arrangements at birth make 28 types. These possibilities at birth cannot be changed during life. We cannot change heredity. Man has been on this planet thousands of years and never has one been born 3,3,3 in possibilities.
How do the three centers become relatively filled? All centers can be developed according to their potentiality tor experiences – according to the inherited pattern.
A child is not in a position to realize its movements, its feelings, its thoughts, or to decide what they should be. The tact of speaking depends on environment; the ability of speaking depends oh heredity.
The musical scale was originally taken from the laws of nature. ***
Energy in any given space is almost identical with the quantum theory.
The first interval is comparatively easy: do, re, mi. Most people go: do, re, mi,mi, fa, do.
A baby born with the possibility to experience 3,2,1 or 2,2,1 does not mean he ever fills these centers to these points, that he ever actualizes his potential possibility for experiencing.
The idea of this method is to develop beyond do, re, mi.
Question: When we have reached the second do, does it mean we have the whole octave?
Answer: “Curb ideas in questions to the sequence in which the argument is going. I am not evading the argument. I am only attempting to keep the sequence of the octave.”
What will be the next step is I say every one is born with one of these arrangements in centers: 3,2,1; 2,1,3; etc.
Question: How can we improve if born 1,1,1?
Answer: That comes later at note la, and is not now in the sequence.
We are the three centers; what experiences should we have? What do babies begin to receive in their centers? This is the sequence.
Remember the story of Goldenlocks and the Three Bears? We are given empty bowls of different sizes to be tilled. Environment will evoke in the child only the experiences of which he is capable.
There are three forms of stimuli which exist in the environment. We are limited in responsiveness to these.
There is the whole external world, we can only know so much as we can respond to. We can only know reality through thought, feeling and sensing.
This external world is three-fold for us and begins to evoke in us three kinds of experiences.
We should be lucky if the environment in which we were born provided us with stimuli in proportion to our inherited possibilities. Because this seldom happens we are “at cross purposes with ourselves” as we say. We receive from our environment stimuli out of proportion to the inherited arrangement. Born 1 in the thinking center, society tries to develop a scholar, scientist, philosopher, but born 1 in the thinking center, one will never become more than 1. He may till this center ¼, ½, ¾, or completely, but never will he become 2 in this center.
A 1,2,3 man should be placed in circumstances where he can develop or fill his centers according to their inherited possibilities.
Question: Are centers inherited from one parent or another?
A 3,3,3, environment is good for everybody. At 3,3,3, one would be a man, a normal man; everything else falls short.
“Potential” means a certain possibility. Say 2,3,1 is potential at birth, the possibilities are that no one thus born will actualize this 2,3,1 of which he was capable.
Question: Would one seek naturally the environment which he needs?
Answer: Unfortunately being already over weighted in one center he is dominated by this center and seeks naturally for the environment for this center and neglects the other two. He will then become more unbalanced all the time, more lopsided.
Question: Would it not be good for society for the dominating center to go on developing, excelling, perhaps becoming a genius?
Answer: What we propose to do is to help the integration of what one has at birth. We may hope this may do something for society but to suffer and becom distorted that society may benefit Is doubtful as to good results.
3,3,3 never exists according to nature; such are not born. The chances statistically are infinitely against it. To be 3 in more than one center is rare.
All human beings are born three centered animals and differ in the potentiality of the three centers. This is the note Do.
There are many 1,2,3 people at birth but the 3 is more rarely found than the 2 and the 1. There are no fractions at birth but in the actualizing there are fractions.
3,3,3 is not a potentiality of nature. Nature can occasionally make a 3 in one center, rarely in 2 and never in 3. “1” can make 3,3,3. This is the work of art, the work of “1”.
In the Orient we say in general the environment plays for essence; in the West environment plays for personality, and plays to make all personalities alike. With us it any person shows any sign of being a genius he is hit on the head; if he shows signs of being a saint he is not allowed in politics. In the East they are inclined to exhibit lopsidedness, in the West to conceal the truth. There are no psychoanalysts in the East.
You are hearing “3,3,3”. How can one become 3,3,3? It can be answered.
What we are now is a hereditary and sociological fact. That we are hurt, angry, jealous etc., is due to the fact that we are struggling to be something which we are not born to be, thanks fo society, instead of striving to be that for which we were born. We are quarreling with our potentialities.
The happy person is one who is striving to actualize his potentialities. This happiness is rare because one never sees his potentialities. If you choose you choose from a distorted idea. It is impossible for us to arrive at a judgment of ourselves through introspection, this judgment is sociologically formed. You must depend on the same kind of evidence in judging yourselves which you depend on in judging others. We do not ask a person his opinion of himself. We must ignore the subjective opinion we have of ourselves.
There are impressions which evoke thought, impressions which evoke emotions, impressions which evoke sensations. We learn to talk thanks to environment. We learn to date, love, suffer thanks to environment. We walk, run, rest in a chair thanks to environment.
All our impressions have been collected passively, this is why we are machines. We are not agents, we are re-agents of what has been stimulated by environment. The machines are run by environment. The same dynamo runs every little machine.
There is a fourth center called “1”, but never will we recieive passively an impression in that center. All impressions in this center are taken actively and not God and all his angels can put an impression there. Only “1” can put impressions there. Someone has to direct our attention to the fourth center but only “1” can till it.
October 28, 1929
Consider yourself as a psyche. We cannot break the walls of death to find what is beyond but we can try to strip the psyche of a body.
I invite you to consider the types of body that are ordinarily associated with that octave of beings we call human. You are contemplating with an idea of incarnating the nature of the body with which for ordinary purposes you are to be associated. You will inquire what is the character of the body I am supposed to incarnate to ? What experiences will it be possible for me to have if I succeed in having mastery over it ? I am assuming you would ask what experiences would you be bound to suffer and what experiences would you choose to have if you could choose.
Let us disabuse ourselves of the idea that there is or ever will be anyone who can choose for us with authority. You must not believe this;you must know. You must check by experiment. To live by personal experience, by personal knowledge, means almost to be a normal human being.
If you are keeping in mind these two questions, the first thing I would say is that this human being is structural on a plane, not just cells and atoms but an organism. An organism is a whole which acts through its parts. One suggestion: this structure presents itself as an octave. Analysing the human structure we find the first form is atom, the next form is molecule, the next cell. It began with one single cell composed of atom and molecule. The next form is fissure, the next bone. We go on in sequence to total aggregation. Each note supposes a previous note not like it. Next come organs; next systems, the co-ordination of organs, and the next is not so familiar. It is here we introduce an element about which you must think. We call it “system of brains”, three in number. The cerebral located in the head, the spinal brain located in the spine and there is a third brain the center of which is in what is called the solar plexus.
We are aware of our solar plexus. We have a certain sudden experience and we say “I was hit in the stomach”,or “my stomach turned over”. Observe end you will find that no matter how intensely you have been feeling, the trouble is invariably there in the solar plexus. When next you find yourself wrought up, observe where it originates.
The waiting soul which is watching to incarnate has this kind of an organism in which to manifest. In building up this organism we have come to the not Si in the ascending scale. The seven controlls the six, the six the five, the five the four, etc. By the time we arrive on this planet, we find these bodies prepared for us; machines to inhabit or to experienci what is potential.
We ask “who am I ?” For the moment all we will say is “I am that which co-ordinates all that is in the body before it arises, the principle of co-ordination of the seven.” This principle is not of the same element as any part of the body, it is not a component part of the body, but it is not a stranger to it. This element it is which makes the unit.
We now pass on to the second question: “what experiences must I suffer with such a body and what experiences would I quote ?”
First,I am limited in experiences to the pattern of the organism. Such as that body is, will be the definition of my passive experiences.
God alone knows what environment really is. In the absence of a medium between us and God, we are limited to the possible experiences of the body.
There are three brains; each can be said to yield a form of experience. We find we have thought; we claim to be able to think, we pride ourselves on this particular fact. We have the experience of connation (a modern psychology term). It is that experience we have when making exertion, making an effort against resistance, the experience of muscular exertion. All these experiences take place in the third; brain, called “spinal brain”. From this brain also come our movements; we also call this the instinctive brain. The second brain we call the solar plexus. Do not just listen to these words, but try to distinguish your states in this brain: hatred, anger, fear, shrinking, etc.
Recall the different qualities of your states in these three brains.
It is because we have these three brains that we can have these three kind of experiences. Given another brain we might have another class of experiences, but we cannot conceive of what these experiences might be; we cannot imagine. We are cut out of knowing reality because we are limited to these three brains. It is only to use words to admit that there may be other experiences of which we have no knowledge. All this begins to answer the first question. We are doomed to suffer experiences in these three categories: to think, to feel, to move.
Question: What about the duality of man?
Answer: This organism is threefold. We have been in the habit of calling ourselves a duality because we have taken feeling and mind as one, and the body as the other; that mind consisted of two elements, thought and feeling.
Thought is a comparison of images to discover their likenesses and differences.
Question: What is memory?
Answer: We have 10.000 impressions of three different kinds making 30.000, entering our minds every second. These make chemical impressions; the body registers, remembers them all. This is the fact of memory. The ability to recall, to collect, is entering another field, the field of psychology.
We can say this body is the epitamy of its physical history. Our bodies bear the marks of being bettered about. Illustration: we make a dent in a tray; it carries the mark of that experience. The power of recollection is quite another matter.
The novelty of threefoldness is that each one of these brains is interdependent with the other two and independent of the other two. Each brain can act independently, but generally each brain acts inter- dependently. An activity begun in one brain is very likely to pass on to the other two brains. Nothing ever starts in the visceral brain; everything starts in either the cerebral or the spinal. Muscular exercices, massage, produce emotional states. This method is used by psychoanalysts. They manipulate muscles and release tensions which cause certain emotional states. In an emotional state we say “change your posture – you may be pressing on your solar plexus.” An emotional state may be brought about quite physiologically. The cerebral brain can also control emotions. This is done by change of images. Our emotional brain is blind; it responds only to images, on the one side, and pressure on the other. We say the second brain is not a part of the other two but is the neutralizing force between the other two. When the other two are in perfect balance, there is no feeling.
On the balance we have
* (see end of chapter)
Everyone has experienced the emotion of anger. You are angry with a friend, with an officer, with an equal, with a superior, with an inferior, with an animal. Every one of these states of anger is different; the difference being determined by your image of the so-called cause of/your, state of emotion.
Question: How do you provoke a desired emotion in another?
Answer: By these two methods:
1 – Change the visceral by, say, a good meal. In the cerebral takes no part; but also no wish is evoke.
2 – Evoke different images by changing the physic state; then other wishes may also be provoked.
We have a picture of this organism as being in very bad way. Nature has not done us proud at all. The most valuable element, feeling, is at the mercy of two brains over which we, as “I” , have no control.
This second brain is the register of the other two. Unless we can obtain control over the spinal or the cerebral or both, never will we have control over the second. Every honest hypothesis has its justification. There are certain justifications for the duality idea. There is one over two; this is the duality.
These statements are not speculations in the minds of those who make them, but statements of tacts. They are not asking belief, but acceptance.
Question: What experience is it possible for the psyche to have if the human organism is in control?
Answer: It is almost impossible to realize what is consciousness, it is so near. We are aware of two the other two. When the other two states, the state of sleeping and the state we call waking. Dreams may take place in a phenomenon of our waking consciousness (I am speaking of consciousness in the ordinary sense).
Intuition (nose-gays), subconsciousness, intuition of higher life, sixth sense, the time dimension, – all these precious and semi-precious ideas are only phenomena recurring in consciousness.
Distinguish between an event and an experience. The unconscious has no experiences; just a procession of events. Events are converted into experiences by consciousness.
It is affirmed that the plane of waking consciousness, in which we experience three kinds of experiences, has as its possibilities the two other planes:
1 – Regular consciousness
2 – Self-consciousness
3 – Super, or cosmic consciousness. These last two are not on the same plane as waking consciousness. In each of these fields you also can be aware of three forms of experience, but these differ not in degree but in kind. Also, on the cosmic plane, a being thinks, feels, moves; but how he thinks, feels, moves – that is different.
The potentiality of the organism is that it should experience thought, feeling and movement on three planes instead of on one only. The difference is in kind, not in degree.
* Should there be the same quantity on both sides, there would be no emotion whatsoever. Emotion is merely the relation between the more and the less of brain and spine.(notes A.B.)
When you come to the realization that the totality of yourself, what you have treasured, what your friends have admired, is totally useless, you will suffer, but we say, that it is only from this point that there is any hope for your becoming. We are so incredibly small, mere specks in our whole solar system.
Illustration: three flies in the Grand Central station; we are as a speck on one leg of one fly. This is an interesting theory, but the theory means nothing. Yet, speck of a speck of a speck that we are, we worship this speck of a speck of a speck that we are.
The speck comes of value only when you ask “what am I?” There is a turn over in the solar plexus, one is as if stabbed in the heart, when it is truly felt that one is useless, worthless.
Never again, even by accident, can you expect anything pleasant to happen to you. Nor can you ever feel that your life is significant or that your life can have anything others do not have. Thereafter you can be content with what you get, regarding yourself as insignificant and worthless.
The difference between religion and the word. Religion is from the bed-rock or nothingness, an aspiration. A prayer is the wish of a being who knows himself. A wish is the appetite of a self-unknowing person. St Paul says : “They alone can.”
If you are not in this state, perhaps one of the fears you had when coming to the place was that you would lose something, be robbed of something worth while. “I will do my best to rob you of it”.
This is a matter of pure reason, just as you do not pretend to have acquired yourself your stature, your color, etc., these being heredetary, so I go a step further and say you have acquired nothing, anymore than you have chosen the color of your eyes, hair, etc.
You pride yourself on your knowledge, your discrimination in art, etc., when all these things have been thrust upon you. You have had given to you a free gift, just the data that you have sitting here, in a chair. Your cells, body, etc. is your data given you.
There is a science of changing your being and there is an art of changing it. An engineer deals with theory, mathematics, etc.; likewise, there is the technique of this Method and the application. There are two steps: the theory and the application. The object of the Method is the art of self-exploitation; the theory is the creature to be exploited. There is:
1 – the structure of the creature – how it is put together – how it has come to be what it is – what has been put into it – the strenght of the working structure.
2 – some recipe for working the creature.
It is ridiculous to think that after a few moments work in a workshop that we can manipulate machines, as a motor car can be taken apart and put together. May be we will have to work a long time in the workshop, with patient study of the organism’s structure, before we try to do anything about it, lest we find something worse than we had to start with.
Test : can you look at an image in the glass and forget that it is you? I will say that you will be surprised and say “is that me?” Illustration : trick mirrors. The only person we could allow to proceed with safety with an objective report of himself, is one who can thus look in a mirror. We are not yet speaking of the art of self-exploitation; we are only speaking of getting acquainted with the creature to be exploited.
We prescribe a certain Method. I regard myself as recurring decimals, point 3, etc. This Method consists in the attempt of being simultaneously and continually aware of movements, tone of voice, posture, facial expressions, and gestures. This technique will bring about in the shortest length of time that state which will make it possible to go on with exploitation. We look in the mirror. We do not say “I wonder what it is going to do, etc.” We take ourselves as an image. When we begin to be aware of ourselves as on image, we have completed the first step.
Our first step is to empty the body of psychology and confine it to the phenomenon of the physical behaviour it exhibits. The first step is the knowledge of the physiology, and the overtones are the manner of behaviour, – so simple, that five forms of exhibition complete the list.
There is to be no analysis of hopes and fears, no recollection of the past, no picturing of the future. Our manners of behaviour are not to be described; they are to be noted. One is not to describe the angle of an arm in a posture, but to note the angle, i.e. be aware. You do not mate a list of your habitual behaviour, you collect facts of behaviour. It is the fact that is to be noted. This gives you ability to attend, and this ability to attend will make it possible to attend to other things.
Illustration : gymnasium work for a weak back, – weak from disuse. Do you remember the record of the exercises you have done? No: You say “feel my muscles”. You acquired strength though the exercises have been forgotten. In continuing these exercises, you will have gathered strength to use in exploiting yourself.
We are not to observe others, but, because our eyes are open, we are bound to see others; only, we say,”I see because I look”.
I must look, here, acutely not passively.
Observing does not grow easier. Memory plays the role of calling, but few get up. The alarm clock goes off, but few get up. There is satisfaction in the ability to attend, regardless of what is going on. One interesting thing to discover, is how little there is that you observe that you are not-interested in. You see a gesture; immediately you say “I don’t like that gesture”, it is like some other person’s gesture”. When you can make a pure observation, without comment, you then have a pure, an emaculate perception. In this work you refrain from making all the mechanical observations. The self-observation must be pure. All scientists talk about disinterestedness, but ife is almost heartbreaking to see that all have their own subjective idea. There are none I would trust to make a disinterested report of a human being.
There is a certain amount of objective truth in all beings, there truly is.
The degree of disinterestedness in the approach to any problem is in taking a mental attitude. This is the Method of achieving disinterestedness toward this precious self.
The outline of this talk this evening.
Each sentence has been unnecessarily elaborated.
Illustration : one tree giving the impression of a whole forest One tree in a door-yard – – a man walking around – – lost as if in a whole forest.
I do not wish you to be lost in a forest.
First : you are the most important person in the two hundred million people on the earth.
Second : you are the object of all that there is in life.
Third : you are the person about whose abilities and desires you know least.
Fourth : you are the person.
This is the theory and application.
Illustration : calf love converted into bull hate, both without identification. With this Method you love yourself less and hate yourself less. This is not toleration, but recognizing a fact. It is not proper to love, it is not proper to hate, it is not proper to be indifferent toward one self. So long as you are in any of these states, you cannot be happy; you cannot discharge your function as a human being. Self-respect, complacency, is an artificial grafting. When we can say “I alone did it”, we can have respect for self. About all my accomplishments I can have no pride. That, from day to day, I can more simultaneously and continually observe, this is my pride,- this is laying up treasure, where moss and rust do not corrupt. The ultimate objective is to manipulate imagination, – – conscious self-exploitation.
You are concerned with the maximum satisfaction. We don’t care two pence about cosmic consciousness, or divinity, or. God; but in our own maximum satisfaction : perhaps this is your objective duty. Make it a continuation worthy of its biological and sociological beginning. Think of the time and labor involved before biological man appeared. Then consider the further time required for this sociological development.
We have a physical body which is not mean.
We have a soul which is not barbaric.
Can you perfect this, carry it on its way?
You say “I have a passion for an automobile, for money, eto. – I say “what for ?”
We cannot get far until we have classified ourselves as to type. I see before me many types, like a dog fancier at a show. The dog fancier sees newfoundlands, terriers, etc. I see those before me who personally wish to be, to do, to know. Which one is you essentially ? Do you wish to be something more than you are? Do you wish to do something more than you do? Do you wish to know something more than you know?
We begin self-study by trying to classify ourselves according to these three large classes of types.
If death should overtake a million people, only two or three would have any reason for continuing life. We live from day to day, for nothing other than to meet the happenings of the day. Hoone ever asks what he is living for; what keeps him alive; what he is hoping for.
Questions that cannot be answered :
When you come to die, what is it that would he an alternative to life ? What do you hope to accomplish from continuing to be alive ?
If your ultimate object is to be, you also must know and do. If your prime object is to know, you must know as much as possible, do as much as possible and be as much as possible. All types have their field for work.
For each end the other two are sublimated. Your type determines the base of your triangle. If I ask what is your work to be , I will not ask for reply.
There are possible states of being and impossible states of being. I cannot be an apple tree nor a giraffe, no matter how much I may wish to be. There is a limit to the possibilities for each person.
What do you wish to know ? What do you wish to do ? This field is over-populated. Examine yourself quite honestly before God.
The major part of our life is taken up in filling up time. Like spoiled children, to live, is to be spending our time to gratify wishes. The importance is not to fulfill our wish, but to pursue its fulfillment. Perhaps the best therapy is to find out our wish and to begin on its fulfillment.
Supposing you were doomed to immortality, – nothing could destroy you – you are you – nothing can make you another. You are struck suddenly with the realization that you have to continue, – what would you do ? You have infinite time. You say, “I would like to learn languages”. You could learn all languages, but the time would come when you would pray to cease to be. I ask again, “what work would you wish to do?” We now say that we wish to live, but what reason have you ? What are you living for ? This Method is intended primarily for those who have an inkling of what they are living for. Someone may say he is interested in painting, but in fact, he is interested in wheel-barrels. This Method is for those who are looking, first of all to know” what kind of a being am I”.
These bodies you have brought with you tonight are no more yours than mine. Everything is a gift. Your status as a doer, a knower and a being is what use you are making of this body, this organic mechanism, which is a present to you. What can you do to have full use of, control of, this body, which is a gift to you ?
I consider time but a few moments. Thirty, forty, fifty years ago, there would be sitting on your chair a single, tiny cell. At the crisis of birth, there is a fully formed infant. But a long history goes before. There is a state in which it is invertebrate, vertebrate, monkey, human. This is its biological history. The child comes with no memories, no experiences of the senses, no intuition. It now enters the sociological environment of his parents, and on the conditions of its environment depends its sociological development.
We learn to speak, to walk, etc. up to the age of majority. Here we reach the end of a certain phase and the being is then considered to be responsible. This is the time when life is supposed to begin. The first stage is biological; the second is biological and sociological, and the third stage is sociological. At this age, the age of majority, in 99 out of 100 сases, contraction sets in. We know what to expect, – a return to the womb. This is what psychoanalysts also say. How for a word used by Eddington, Whitehead, Jeans, – not a word used in the Sunday papers, – “time-tube”.
We were all only red, wrinkled infants. We begin to resent nurse, we begin to go to school, to college, to think we know it all. We grew up from a cell, say,-dressed for a party,- limbs, arms and all the rest, and we arive and for twenty, fourty, sixty, ninety years, we go through a series of forms. With whioh form do you identify yourself ? You find it difficult to answer. So we suggest the use of the time-tube. We say “when I was a little girl”, etc. Each individual makes his own tube.
(Fourth dimension states are called time – read Hinton)
We should see the forms through which an object has passed; its history. This requires imagination, facts and measurements. We do not say at the moment when this is involution, and when evolution. We simply advise people to look at objects in this way. From the footprints of our civilization, a million years from now, our civilization could be built up. We should look at cross-sections and build up the rest. We call this looking at the fourth dimension. God alone knows what anyone of us may be.
We are a procession of fate in time.
Hext step : why is it that our original seed turns out to be a human being ? We say a human being is an organism with three brains. Had we been born monkeys, we would have two brains, or, had we been born fish, we would have one brain. We have a brain for being, a brain for doing, and a brain for knowing. Up to the age of majority, our physiology is set in a general form which will last the rest of our lives. Nature does all this; we do not attend to this. But Nature says “I provide you with a body and three brains.” What you do inside your body, do with your three brains, Nature does not care.
We are ceased on first by parents, second by teachers, etc. By all this you must see what kind of brain one will have at twenty-one. If his brain has not been used by himself, at twenty-one it will be undeveloped. If his emotions have been curbed or indulged, etc., he will be infantile. The first center will be very large in comparison. He can walk to his office, smoke, drink, drive a car, be a regular Robinson Crusoe, build a hut, fish, and all this with only two brains developed and one brain artificially developed. No wonder we may be regarded as inferior.
It is so ridiculous that other people take their eye off the ball. It is serious that we take our own eye off the ball. We are infantile. It would raise my hair to say about myself what I say about Orage. I look in the mirror; I know no one more hateful, nor more despicable than Orage. A creature so lopsided, so infantile in its sociological development, there is nothing to retrieve him. The only comfort is that I have infinite time to develop a mechanism which society has almost completely spoiled.
This is a correct portrait of every individual.
One who is moved only by the descriptions of the emotions of others is dying in the emotional center. Illustration : Shelley’s “Ode to the Skylark”. Contrast Shelley’s “Ode to the Skylark” and Charlotte P. Gilman’s poem on Shelley’s Skylark. His was real emotion, hers was not evoked by the skylark but by his emotions about the skylark.
One who is not interested in boats, being in a boat, about a garden, being in a garden, is dying in the instinctive center. One who is not interested in the new discoveries of science is dying intellectually. We develop three centers; interest should be shown in all three types of interest.
Eddlson is 50 000 years old. What do you suppose a man may be in another 50 000 years ? His physiology may be much the same, perhaps a third eye might be added.
Reformers are dreaming without making a picture of what the results of their reforms may be, when 50 000 years have passed. Would it be a world of pugilists, Platos or Jesus Christs ?
We come back to what the individual can do in his life-time. We say “only the potentialities which we realize today can be realized by the future race.-“
Actualize all wishes only at your own choice, volontarily and on your own tems. To have complete understanding, complete feeling, complete ability to do, is to fill up the three brains. Merely because an emotion is provoked by an image in the mind, or by a feeling in the body, does not matter. An emotion is always evoked by one or the other, but they are genuine while they last. Illustration : reading a book and blubbering. Show me someone who is moved by a work of art and I say his emotion is still alive.
You are looking at the world through three mediums simultaneously. You get a sense of images in one medium, in another, feeling, in another connotation. Seeing ourselves this way we will, every one of us, change, not metaphorically but psychologically. We shall begin to think more, we shall begin to feel more, we shall begin to do more.
There is a possibility of 343 emotions (7 times 49) Generally speaking, an individual experiences about 27. The hope is to experience every species of emotion.
The race cannot do more than what is potentially in the race. Only what the individual can do, the race can do.
There are vestigial organs – for which we have no more use, like the appendix, – and anticipatory organs – for which we do not know the use yet.
In the back of the head : consciousness
In the heart : individuality
In the spine : will.
Will consciousness is determined by our actively taken impressions.
A will is a purpose pursued irrespective of any wish.
Consciousness is the simultaneity of thought process.
You have only to change in one of your centers and you see this room differently.
This external world may be called a very large X or unknown. The external world for us is unknown because we are conditioned as we are.
We differ from the animals only because we have three screens; the higher animals have two screens, the lower one screen and the vegetables have no screen.
Environment is the seed of possible stimuli. Environment gives you your ideas of the external world. We collect what we wish through our senses and create our sensations and stimuli.
“I” only contacts the external world through these three screens. Without all the senses it does not mean that the world has changed, it only means that the organism is changed. The world does not change because one is blind or deaf.
The first screen is our body. We come in contact with the world through our senses, two, five or ten, whatever we have. This is our only experience with the outside world. We depend on these senses – taste, sight, smell, etc. In this way we do not differ from the reptiles. The reptiles have one screen only, one center for external conceptions.
Another screen is the feeling or emotional center. Our first classification of the external world is in this center and is “I like” and “I don’t like” – an elemental classification. There is no such thing in the world as an unpleasant taste, touch, etc. – there is only taste, touch, etc., and we make the classification “I like” and “I don’t like”. One rate of vibration makes an unpleasant face, another a pleasant face; there is nothing of mathematics in this which makes the difference; it is the emotional center, positive and negative emotions, (I like and I don’t like) and they have nothing to do with electricity or.
There is an octave in emotions ranging from low to high like the keyboard of a piano, and the notes struck in this octave of emotions are lasting in the same way. Our emotions are unpleasant or pleasant according to vibrations. When these – “I like” and “I don’t like” – are assembled, we have the contents of our emotional center. There are two elements in the wmotional center – states of pleasant and unpleasant emotions.
Negative emotions spend your energy without profit to yourself. Negative emotions are devitalising. Indulgence in them breaks down cells and destroys the body.
The two-screened animals also like and dislike. With the endowment of the third screen is given human beings a responsibility not given to animals and reptiles. The wretched thought-screen in us is no longer “I like” and “I don’t like” but raises the question of “is it right or is it wrong that I like or don’t like?” It begins comparison. Thought is a classification of sensations.
Question : what is judgment?
Answer : how can I judge without comparison. The word “judgment” implies the final conclusion on comparisons with respect to likenesses and differences. My judgment is a final verdict of a series of comparisons. You cannot help your judgments any more than you can your likes and dislikes. But in the third center is the possibility of making conscious judgments.
We each have three center or brains. The total number of sensations coming into these brains since birth is given as ten millions per second by way of each sense. Endowed with ten senses, each of us has received 100 millions per second since birth. By this you will see how complex our bodies ape from the point of view of sensations. These sensations are classified in infancy into “I like” and “I don’t like”; already we have this second screen; it begins to operate in the cradle. It is the origin of spoiled children and of all our prejudices. Long before we have judgment, we begin the emotional classification automatically. How many emotional experiences have we? As many as we have sensations. Divide sensations into two halves – positive and negative – then judgment enters.
Sensation, feeling, thought are three possible responses to reality. They are forever different in kind but not unrelated in interest; theres is an inter-blending. The three screens are not of the same strength in ordinary individuals; all depends on their relative inherited strength. One screen may become defective but the scheme has not gone wrong.
An instinctive center may have the strength to live 500 years; an emotional center to live 100 years; a thinking center to live 20 years. We are at any moment at a different age in the different centers. We may be approaching old age in one center and comparatively young in another center. A common phenomenon is the cessation of life in the thinking center while emotional and instinctive centers are still strong. A man has been to college, attains business success and the mind dies; he cares only to live in the other two centers. He likes to be entertained, to go to the theatre, etc or to play golf like a boy. You know at one time he had exercised his mind. The answer is, he is dead in his thinking center. Our fate is that the three centers differ in each individual; this difference depends on heredity and the winding up of the three centers by environment.
We are not deceived beyond a few years as to the age of a person, as to body; but to estimate the age emotionally and intellectually is more difficult . You can’t treat an adult as an infant or vice versa, nor can you treat old age as an adult. We treat every one according to their physical age, regardless of their emotional or intellectual age. When you are capable of seeing their emotional or intellectual age, you can treat people fairly, according to their three ages. Ask yourself, whatever his physical age may be, what is his emotional and intellectual age.
We say that we cannot change these three centers except by new consciousness. By chance they may be renewed temporarily – we sometimes speak of one as raised from the dead.
Question : Is there not such a thing as affinity?
Answer : Affinity is following inclination. There certainly is – this is like vibrations attracting each other.
Illustration : the magnet drawing the metal. It is the fate of the metal to be drawn by the magnet. Fate is an accident. Read any of the latest books on psychology. It is by accident that the future for anyone of us will be glorious or in-glorious. We can acquire no new faculty, no new sense, no new center, we can only develop what faculties, what centers we have. The only way we can change is voluntarily – not by being spoon-fed by others and not by our forbears who in turn were also conditioned .
Up to nineteen years of age, the three centers march together; then one may begin to drop out, say the intellectual center. A real educational system would guard against spending emotional and intellectual energy and would also strengthen both. In such an education, the centers would march together, say to the age of ninety – this would be a ripe old age. We do not die in a center from using it but from waste and fatigue.
There is what is c ailed a second wind and a third wind, a new lease on life. This may be brought about by chance or design. There are glands which can be opened up and give new energy for a time. You get your second wind between openings of “cans” (I can).
There is a second physical wind, a second emotional wind and a second intellectual wind.
Illustration : someone from the physical point of view can lift 500 pounds; he says he can lift no more. It is possible to put him into such a state that he can lift twice that weight but this would not mean that he would have the use of it. In a certain emotional state one can lift beyond one’s natural strength. There are emotional states when you feel you have super-human strength – we say “in tune with the infinite.”
Intellectually there are times when you feel you can understand anything – things extraordinarily clear to you. Everyone has experiences of power greater than they ordinarily use.
Our aim in this Method is to develop these three centers. We do hot say as Freud does that these centers have been sublimated when we find our second wind. We do not find our second wind necessarily by exhausting our first wind. So we do not speak of super men. We do not say “higher thinking center”, “higher emotional center” and “higher instinctive center” because this suggests these three centers have been sublimated. Instead we say Will, Consciousness and Individuality. Use second wind instead of sublimation.
The three Yoga develop each center separately. Saint-Francis of Assisi had extraordinary emotional experieaces, but physically he was weak and intellectually ordinary.
Question : What about Samson ?
Answer : Samson had a momentary physical experience.
Plotinus, Gniani Yoga, is an example of a developed third center but was ordinary in the other two. Jesus was supported almost entirely by his disciples, who were chiefly bakhti Yogi and we have no report on him physically or intellectually; somethings, however, do creep through, it was said to the Jews he was a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.
While bur schools are all of the same pattern, the ancient schools aimed at developing one or the other of the three super-states.
Hatti Yoga developed the instinctive center.
Bakhti Yoga developed the emotional center.
Gniani Yoga developed the intellectual center.
Each produces a monster; Plotlnus was weak, probably could not shake himself. The bakhti Yogi we call “silly saint”; the Hatty (or Raja) Yogi produces the ascetic.
There is a fourth Yoga, the aim of which is to produce simultaneously and harmoniously the effect of the other three Yogas, the technique of which is this Method. There cannot be a school in this Method.
There are plenty of monks who wish to achieve contact with Jesus. Each Yoga cannot promise results.
A hatti Yogi can show pupils who after one or three years can perform certain things. These schools are always full.
The psychological exercices are elemental Yoga exercices).
The first exercise in the Bakhti Yoga schools is to manifest the opposite of what yon feel. If you feel a pleasant emotion, you exhibit an unpleasant one, and vice-versa. You contradict your own inclinations. Try this as a simple exercise. As a practice exercice, stop with the first, there is less waste of energy.
There are dual schools for developing two centers at once, but no triple schools. There is no salvation in any Yoga, each should be taken with a grain of salt. To take them with a grain of salt was whispered information given to Princes.
The schools of Egypt were different, for they took Egypt to be a physical body and divided it geographically accordingly. In Thebes were only admitted those who had been through all schools (here they approached the teaching of the fourth Yoga).
There is another way of reaching super-consciousness but its aim is for one center to rule over the other two; generally this occurs in the emotional center, this being the most fragile – shell-shocked. Only people in this state wish to be back in their normal state of emotions.
The Whirling Dervishes whirl until they get into a super-state of body – the body identifies with the psyches. In this state they can cut the body, see blood and stop its flow. Their physiology has become a part of their psychology.
The fourth Yoga is to do the work simultaneously of the other three. It is more ambitious and at the same time more modest.
Ho genius, no matter on which plane, can deceive us into wishing to be like him. How can three be developed simultaneously? The difficulty lies in simultaneity.
Remember the diagram.
Through self-observation each of the three centers will send impressions to their equivalent higher center.
Faculty is the evidence of experience.
Transient emotions are lower emotions.
Lasting emotions are higher emotions.
The first step is observation of your own behaviour. The three centers no one sees. We will never see our own centers. When you look at some one else you do not see three brains; you see five manners of behaviour; out of their organs come five manners of behaviour – the totality of their behaviour.
You say “I must be aware of my five forms of behaviour.” In doing this you will become aware of all three centers. Through all five manners of behavior come primarily from one center, they all have elements of the three centers. All three centers blend to produce every form of behavior. Every gesture blends the three centers. If it arises in the first center, it is 3, in the first center and, say, 2 in the second center and 1 in the third. Its elements have these proportions. If aware of such a gesture we build in the three centers individuality, consciousness ans will in the same proportion.
(The clairvoyant reads shades of voice, etc.)
The Mona Lisa’s smile is a compound. The portrait is a diagnosis of her by the painter; whether the smile was in the subject or was intentionally put there by the painter we do not know. Therefore we go to the person and not to the portrait for the truth. From this point of view a diagnostician cannot find any one uninteresting.
Any person contains a key to read not only themselves but all others. We check one language of behaviour against another. Any person may be affected in one manner and not in another.
Question : Does imagination have its source only in emotion or also in thought ?
Answer : Imagination is the source of material upon which the thought acts.
November 25th, 1929.
Question: What do we mean when we say “our potentialities”?
Answer: We mean something gunite concrete, something which everyone can see. It is your body – harmless, apparently despised body – that is the subject of our study.
What body or bodies? There are those that claim to diagnose – astrologers, for instance, or hand-writing readers, etc. 999 answers out of a thousand are wrong. Diagnosing others, as diagnosing ourselves, is equally wrong.
Our life depends on the understanding of ourselves. Who is there that never commits errors so that his friends suffer if he does not? Who has never behaved in such a way that he has afterward felt regret?
The skill we use in handling ourselves is as amateurish as that used by a person given an automobile to drive who has never driven.
As far as direct self examinators go there are none in civilization. There is no one here who knows himself or herself as well as any one who has known them for five minutes. Still we act on the supposition that we know ourselves. We make every variety of mistakes and then wonder who has made the mistake. We always put the blame on others or on circumstances. We have neither the courage nor technique to observe ourselves and this is the price we pay for not looking at ourselves in the same way we look at others. Give yourself your name and imagine you see that person and ask :
Can she be trusted? Is she a liar? Is she capable of loyalty? Is she serious about anything? Has she intelligence? Is she where she wishes to be? Is she lazy? Is she self-indulgent? Is she selfish? Is there any one she loves? Is there anyone for whom she would put herself to real trouble? Could she take a vow to do any work? Is she a snob? Has she any idea of why she is alive? Could she tell if at the point of death what she would do if she were given another ten years to live? Has she ever wished to excel in anything? to be of service? Op has she been in pursuit of pleasures? Do the words “conscience”, “responsibility”, “religion”, “womanliness”, mean anything to her? Is she complaining? Does she think the world owes her anything? What does she do for society? How does she spend her day? Before going to sleep does she review the day or pass into oblivion? In waking does she have a purpose for the day? Does she ever make effort against inclination? What character did she have as school girl? How does she appear today? Could she write on a piece of paper what others say of her? Has she a pleasant temper, or morose? Has she ever had the strength to apologize? Has she used words as a snake uses its sting, to throw at someone whom she hates? Has it occured to her at night to recall her remarks during the day and ask what kind of a person was this who said these things?
One who asks these questions is truly a new species, not one which springs up in evolution.
This self candor is different from candor about others. Is Orage a person who has the tendency to say things to please others? Is he inclined to lie? I could not answer these questions if attached to myself.
You cannot answer these questions accurately at first – this is not important; it is necessary that you give answers. You can say, “Yes, I am deceitful; I shall lie to my best friend,” and then pass on to another question, “Am I a person who can be relied upon?” You say, “Yes, she can be relied upon.” You will be pleased and begin to purr in answering these questions that someone (yourself) has taken interest in you.
I see scars on your faces; you have suffered in your pride. If I could tell you of a beauty parlor where you could be freed from scars you would go. I am offering you something which will take the sting out of every possible thing which could be said to you or about you: it is that you have discovered all these things first yourself and can say, “Yes, it is true.”
Socrates asked his friend what he saw in his face and received the reply, “I see greed, hatred, malice, etc.” Socrates said, “Good. Shake hands. I have seen them all there too.” yours. What effort do you make to better their condition, to know their character, their weaknesses, their strength, their needs? What have you done for them, I ask you in God’s name, compared with what you have done for yourself?
How see someone for whom you care and you wish to help, but it is beyond your being able to help them. I say you cannot help them until you have come to be the person who knows himself. It is absurd to try to help others when you cannot help yourself.
The educators are all so prejudiced they cannot help imparting their prejudices to pupils whether they are good for the pupils or not. The subjective element is so great that no one can be trusted to help others.
A psychoanalyst will begin to attribute to patients the very complex he himself has. If this is the case with trained minds imagine how wrong it would be for the untrained to attempt help. They would give the worst advice that could possibly be given.
This subjectivity – self ignorance – is the beam with which we try to cast out the mote which is in our neighbor’s eye. The beam is self ignorance; we cast it out by Self Observation. You look at the creature bearing your name and say about it what you would say with long acquaintance. It will be relative truth if not actual truth. Then only will you venture to prescribe for others.
In judging yourself all depends on the mood you are in; according to your mood you will be extreme in condemning or praising yourself. It will not be pure judgment; it will be relative to your emotional state.
“When a man begins to study others he will color his conclusions by his own subjectivity.” James discussions. There is a simple person, a concrete figure, for me to study. I don’t need a book or introspection.
Always the difficulty occurs of expecting a logical proof instead of a fractional result. “Once I was blind; now I can see.” – pragmatism, result following cause; not logic, proceeding cause.
“Psychoanalysis, in my opinion, is a form of Voodoo with obscene rites. “
If you discover yourself first you will not suffer.
When you have so diagnosed yourself you will ask, “What is to be done?” You may think you will be hopeless and in despair but it will not be so. You know how to say such things as will depress an enthusiastic friend. You see their spirit depart; you know the effect that is produced on one’s self when hostile remarks are made from the outside; but the effect on yourself will be the reverse when you have stated about yourself, “I am weak, lazy, etc.” Then when others say these things to you, you feel relief – you can be yourself and like a little child – innocent. You can never fall below your diagnosis but can have new courage, new spirit by the hope that you con become better. You cannot become worse.
I stress this because without some effort at self – candor there is no hope of arriving anywhere. All the rest may be philosophy. You can go to the theatre, to lectures, etc., and think you are being educated by churning over and over what you already have. The vast number of people after twenty years of age never progress but they go back; end back not to childhood but to childishness.
Evolution is an accepted fact.
This is highly prejudiced and leaves out the millions of creatures who have lived on this planet and are extinct. Nature does not care. What takes place in nature is a number of changes.
We have been in a state of optimism – one of the superstitions of the nineteenth century and which the twentieth century will refute.
If you do not do something for yourself, nothing will be done. You will grow worse as time goes on. By luck this may not be, but most people will grow worse until time to die. The subject to study is one’s self; the technique such as you use on anyone else for whom you feel responsible; brother, sister, children; anyone emotionally in your charge.
Think of someone whose welfare is some concern of.
A psychoanalyst at seventy years, head of one of the largest institutions in the world – his wife became insane, his son a criminal, his daughter married three times unhappily. He did not know that he was the cause. I say the world is literally crazy; knowledge of others is of more importance than self knowledge is the state. “The eyes of the world are on the ends of the earth.”
Illustration: You have cancer. You do not say, “how interesting. How, how did I acquire that?” I find an inclination to lying. I do not inquire how I came to have it.
Question : is this self knowledge done alone?
Answer : Yes, it needs no jargon, no text books, no group meetings.
All that we are, we are because of heredity and sociology. We wish to know what kind of joint heredity and sociology is here in us. What the being is at the moment we call pragmatic psychology.
To the one interested we prescribe that you be continuously and simultaneously observing the five manners of behavior of the body you take with you. You will be performing the greatest usefulness you can be to yourself and human society because you are doing this.
Question: Shall we take all this you have been saying on faith?
Answer: No. Either you leave it or you experiment; either you are interested in the experiment or not interested. The skeptical – inquiring – will personally experiment or find out if it is so or not. It is not a question of logical truth. It is a question of practical truth.
Watson said about this Method: “This is not come see: it is go do.”
If you are skeptical, do not believe what was said, I ask you in the next state of temper to continue your state but listen to your tone of voice, etc. One experience of this kind will do more than a thousand years in the group. Just listen to what the other person has to listen to from you – you suddenly have a feeling of stark amazement – your tone of voice immediately changes; your vocabulary will fall into a different kind.
Some blane others for disagreeable states or if they have grown beyond this stage they blame sociology, heredity; this is also stupid.
Being aware of states here and now the states begin to change.
Question: Does the Method applied to such states wear out?
Answer: Every state of negative emotion is like a blown up rubber animal. There are different kinds of negative emotions but all are inflated. Prick any kind of a rubber animal and it collapses. Self observation is like the prick; the principle always works. However, this habit of using pins may make it impossible to blow up the same animal (negative emotion) again and again.
A negative state is one personally unpleasant to you. Also whatever things we do which would be disagreeable to us if we saw them, we will stop when self observing.
Illustration: A public official on seeing himself on the screen soon after some public occasion in which he figured, resigned from office.
Second illustration: The cure of a case of stammering at John’s Hopkins,(watch for the stammering and observe, and it ceases.)
We defy you to continue to talk disagreeably if you hear yourself.
“Self consciousness” so called, is acute awareness of somebody else – not acute awareness of self. The more truly Self Conscious you become, the less conscious you are of others.
The more you attend to what you are doing the more you will understand what others are doing.
Everybody’s portrait, standing erect, is a tower of three stories:
Feeling story – where all wishing, etc.
Doing story – where chores are done – kitchen-food, drink- new clothes for parlor use.
In this bottom story the most of us live habitually.
In the feeling story, or parlor, we live a large part of the time.
In the thinking story, the study, we live infrequently.
Ordinary beings live: 9/10 in kitchen, 9/100 in parlor,
1/100 in study.
The way to control our thoughts, feelings and actions is to establish here (* see above) “I”. This is not theoretical psychology but practical psychology. So try to see if you can continue an ill temper when aware of its manifestations. This is a receipt for continuous happiness.
When you are in a state of worry will you go to the mirror (not go over the circumstances) and say, “Ah, now I see how you look when you are worrying.” You see the droop of the mouth, the color of complexion, the eyes. You walk and feel constriction. It is as interesting as being pregnant – there is pressure of blood at the back of the head, etc..
Then suddenly you discover you have lost your worry; before you have exhausted your symptoms, you wait for more, they do not come.
Illustration: A professor at Columbia lay in wait for another toothache; he had discovered 16 symptoms; he wanted to get them all.
Any negative emotion should be taken as the professor took the toothache; instead of apprehending the next attack you will be looking forward to it – but it won’t appear.
One reason for the value (necessity) of these groups is because the world is rotten with negative emotions so it is almost impossible to live in it, and here we learn of a simple way of curing negative emotions.
Question: What happen to positive emotions when observed?
Answer: Observe yourself in a positive state and you enhance that state. A positive state is one which is pleasurable to you. You would like it repeated.
Negative emotions you do not like, they are at the expense of your well being – a debt-you have to overcome them. In one bank account there is a balance; in the other account a debt.
In a positive state I add to the balance; in a negative state I diminish the minus.
(A new idea not ever given in other groups, now given for the first time.)
When I observe my tone of voice, movement of arm, etc. since there are three centers involved the impression is three-fold.
The element of the third center in the impressions goes here.
The element of the second center goes here.
The element of the first center goes here.
By the simple act of observing you are taking three orders of impressions and so all the centers begin to develop.
We have no “I” in these three centers and never will we take an impression here.
Faculty is the evidence of experience. Transient emotions are lower emotions. Lasting emotions are higher emotions.
December 2nd, 1929
We have a sense perfectly real that we share the soil of the planet with two thousand million people who are born at the rate of one every three seconds and die at the rate of one every three seconds.
It is literally inconceivable that we should realize this and have an idea that we are of any great importance. Astronomy will tell us that our Earth is only a mote revolving about a sun which is only a speck in a universe where there are millions and millions of suns.
Physicists will tell us atoms ****
Illustration: A fly on the ceiling of the Grand Central Concourse; we are as a speck on one wing.
I am trying to approach this from another way. We can travel around the world and meet a specimen of every race. Make this an effort in concrete imagination – while we sit here there are two thousand million people on the planet, being born and dying at the rate of one every three seconds. Every moment of our day is a present moment for every one else. Every disease possible to man is occurring, being suffered, some where at this time. No one can have an experience that has not been experienced by some one a moment before us or a moment after.
There is no unique accident.
There is no unique deformity.
There is no unique experience.
There is no unique being.
You will begin to realize there is a community of total experiences which we share to a certain extent. This realization gives a person a perspective on himself.
No experiences are of any value. The organism remains what it was before though the effect may be integrating or disintegrating. Only purposive, intended experience brings about change, – transformation, development – understanding.
We do not compare human beings with atoms or with the universe but human beings with individualities.
Each individual is a cell in total humanity.
I wish you to turn your attention to the one cell in the human organism which happens to bear your name and say “there is one being in the universe that I can turn my attention to and say ‘I am responsible for that cell’.”
I say “you have brought your bodies with you”. By virtue of the use of the word “I” it is possible to look at the body. I can look at my hand, I can look at my arm, I can be aware of my body walking, – back, legs, arms in walking. But how much of myself can I get into focus as I can my arm? Can I see my organism as clearly as you see it ? No, I cannot see the totality of Orage as clearly as you can, not in the same way you can see him, but I can have the same image in every other sense except sight.
Close your eyes how clearly can you see my image ? It blurred. There is the possibility that your mind can project the image as clearly as an image in a dream and hold it for a time and turn your attention to something else and then back and see the image still there.
How will you try to see yourself and say “There walks the (image) being whic is myself ; there walks the creatue who is my chief responsibility among two thousand million creatures that are now existing.”
Saying this, you would not say “There walks the most colossally important person in the universe and for this person I am responsible.” Instead you will see yourself an ordinary creature.
It is a fact that you know yourself better than anyone else knows you, your history, your ambitions, etc., though it is also true that you know yourself less – you do not know you look to others – you cannot for the moment make any comparative judgment – you have on the other hand the advantage of knowing its history, its plans and many of its secrets. On one side you have this knowledge, on the other you have none. Out of the materials you have, you can create the portrait of the one creature for whom you are destined to be responsible.
Still having this image before you, what is this being from point of view of ability of mind ? ability of feeling? ability of doing ? What has this image to make it capable to handle this creature?
Within fifty years, one hundred years, every one here will be dead (do not accuse me of metaphysics) – but change will take place between now and the grave which will not be a change pleasing to our friends, to ourselves. This is one reason of our infantile state – we dare not project our imagination into this picture of what is going to happen to us. Instead of doing this, we have a child’s imagination that all will go well for us, our friends will help us out, etc., when we should be planning what we should like to become in mind, body and emotions, five, ten, fifteen years hence, in respect to quality.
What is the force of your wish about the future of this creature ? What is the amount of effort you are making to become the kind of person you would like to be? Or are you leaving it to hope?
An ideal is an instrument for measuring ideals and it should register the kind of emotional experiences etc., which you would wish to have – the kind of person you would wish to become.
Here is the moment when the human psyche is as slippery as an eel.There is a reason for facing these facts about ourselves but we prefer to consifer others when we try to pin ourselves down to facts about ourselves and this is the primary downfall in trying to see the clear picture of oneself in point of view of mentality **** in human relations.
If you are pleased with the picture of yourself, find self-satisfaction, I would not crack the ego of this superiority complex.
If you are not pleased, what step are you taking to become that which you would be?
The urge of self-perfection is the shame of self- dissatisfaction – the urge is not the allurement of perfection.
There is what we are, what we wish to become, what the means are to become what we wish.
Question : What is the means ?
This is the picture
of what we are now.
So that the now can be transformed into the hence.
What we are now transformed into the hence, five, ten, fifteen years, when we will still be human beings.
We think, we feel, we act; how do we think, feel and act ?
I am not inviting you to look into a mirror which shows you as you think you are but into a mirror showing what you really are. When this portrait which is real is reflected in our glass instead of the one we ordinarily see there, the feeling of self-satisfaction will not be great and we will wish to change the portrait.
We say our state is this :
ability to do.
I invite you to say in which respect you do wish to improve.
The “1” means the lowest marks – a generous allowance. What is your ambition to be more of in the future than you are now ? This will settle your type.
Do you wish more understanding of books, art, Einstein ? This is the type “1” whose ambition it is to improve in mind.
Type “2” is one who wishes to feel more, more delight, more happiness, etc.
The third type wishes to do more, to be more practical. You must belong to one type but all types are mixed, for to belong to one pure type would be a misfortune. It would mean one of the Yogis monsters.
Types are generally a mixture of two centers preeminent. If three centers were equally developed it would mean a well-rounded person.
The desire to improve in one center is largely hereditary. We might every one of us be said to be an incarnated wish or set of wishes.
There is in man an urge for growth because he is not developed. What makes the tree go on ? The fact it is alive. The animal is satisfied to live. “Man has the wish to live, the wish to live well, the wish to live better.” (The function of reason in man).