E. F.

Schumacher

A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED

N u l l a est h o m i n i c a u s a p h i l o s o p h a n d i , nisi ut b e a t u s sit (St A u g u s t i n e ) M a n has n o reason to philosophise except with a view t o happiness

Contents

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2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

O n Philosophical M a p s Levels of Being Progressions Adaequatio I Adaequatio II The Four Fields of K n o w l e d g e - FIELD ONE T h e Four Fields of K n o w l e d g e - FIELD TWO T h e F o u r Fields o f K n o w l e d g e - FIELD THREE T h e F o u r Fields of K n o w l e d g e - FIELD FOUR T w o Types of Problem Epilogue Notes Index

9 24 36 50 6 62 2 74 95 111 117 139 157 161 169

but I could not make it out. 'This is a museum. instead. All through school and university I had been given maps of life and knowledge on which there was hardly a trace of many of the things that I most cared about and that seemed to me to be of the greatest possible importance for the conduct of my life. When finally an interpreter came to help me. I could see several enormous churches. It is only the "living churches" we don't show. yet there was no trace of them on my map. had been rather pathetic illusionists who conducted their lives on the basis of irrational beliefs and absurd superstitions. enormous amounts of hard-earned wealth were squandered to the honour and glory of 9 1 . 'not what we call a "living church". and no interpreter came along to help me. The maps I was given advised me that virtually all my ancestors.' he said. I pointed to one that was very clearly marked. until a quite recent generation.' Contradicting him. to suspect the soundness of the maps.I On Philosophical M a p s i On a visit to Leningrad some years a g o I consulted a map to find out where I was. It remained complete until I ceased to suspect the sanity of my perceptions and began. I remembered that for many years my perplexity was complete. Even illustrious scientists like Johann Kepler or Isaac Newton apparently had spent most of their time and energy on nonsensical studies of non-existing things.' It then occurred to me that this was not the first time I had been given a map that failed to show many of the things I could see right in front of my eyes. Throughout history. he said: 'We don't show churches on our maps.

but by all peoples. at all times. repetitive prayers. fantastic rituals. turning their backs on reality . in all parts of the world. some interest in religion even today which legitimised that of earlier times. Everywhere thousands of seemingly healthy men and women subjected themselves to utterly meaningless restrictions.not only by my European forebears. on suitable occasions. not surprising with people who had not yet come of age. not plainly and frankly.all for nothing. none of it to be taken seriously today. except of course as museum pieces. although not in so many words. certainly not 10 . It would not do to call a spade a spade ~ ancestors had to be treated with respect.and some actually still do it even in this enlightened age! . all out of ignorance and stupidity. tormented themselves by celibacy. What a history of error from which we had emerged! What a history of taking for real what every modern child knew to be totally unreal and imaginary! Our entire past. although every educated person knew that there was not really a God. of course. Knowledge of the past was considered interesting and occasionally thrilling but of no particular value for learning to cope with the problems of the present. they could not help their backwardness. What our ancestors had written was also in the main fit only for storage in libraries where historians and other specialists could study these relics and write books about them. and so forth. There was.imaginary deities . was today fit only for museums where people could satisfy their curiosity about the oddity and incompetence of earlier generations. except the most recent. It was still permissible. All this and many other things of a similar kind I was taught at school and university. they tried hard and sometimes even got quite near the truth in a haphazard sort of way. to refer to God the Creator. wasted their time on pilgrimages. like voluntary fasting. Their preoccupation with religion was just one of their many signs of underdevelopment.

one capable of creating anything, and that the things around us had come into existence by a process of mindless evolution, that is by chance and natural selection. Our ancestors, unfortunately, did not know about evolution, and so they invented all these fanciful myths. The maps of real knowledge, designed for real life, did not show anything except things that allegedly could be proved to exist. The first principle of the philosophical map-makers seemed to be 'If in doubt, leave it out,' or put it into a museum. It occurred to me, however, that the question of what constitutes proof was a very subtle and difficult one. Would it not be wiser to turn the principle into its opposite and say 'If in doubt, show it prominently' ? After all, matters that are beyond doubt are, in a sense, dead; they do not constitute a challenge to the living. To accept anything as true means to incur the risk of error. If I limit myself to knowledge that I consider true beyond doubt, I minimise the risk of error but I maximise, at the same time, the risk of missing out on what may be the subtlest, most important and most rewarding things in life. St Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle, taught that 'the slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things is more desirable than the most certain knowledge obtained of lesser things'. 'Slender' knowledge is here put in opposition to 'certain' knowledge, and indicates uncertainty. Maybe it is necessarily so that the higher things cannot be known with the same degree of certainty as the lesser things can be known, in which case it would be a very great loss indeed if knowledge were limited to things beyond the possibility of doubt. The philosophical maps with which I was supplied at school and university did not merely fail to show 'living churches', like the map of Leningrad to which I have referred; they also failed to show large 'unorthodox' sections of both theory and practice in medicine, agri2

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culture, psychology and the social and political sciences, not to mention art and so-called occult or paranormal phenomena, the mere mention of which was considered to be a sign of mental deficiency. In particular, all the most prominent doctrines shown on the 'map' accepted the possibility of art only as self-expression or escape from reality. Even in nature there was nothing artistic except by chance; that is to say, even the most beautiful appearances could be fully accounted for - so we were told - by their utility for reproduction, affecting natural selection. In fact, apart from 'museums', the entire map from right to left and from top to bottom was drawn in utilitarian colours: hardly anything was shown isting unless it could be interpreted as profitable for man's comfort or useful in the universal battle for survival. Not surprisingly, the more thoroughly we became acquainted with the details of the map - the more we absorbed what it showed and got used to the absence of the things it did not show - the more perplexed, unhappy and cynical we became. Some of us, however, had experiences similar to that described by the late Dr Maurice Nicoll:
O n c e , i n t h e G r e e k N e w T e s t a m e n t class o n S u n d a y s , t a k e n b y the H e a d M a s t e r , I dared t o ask, in spite o f m y s t a m m e r i n g , w h a t s o m e parable m e a n t . T h e a n s w e r Was s o c o n f u s e d that I actually e x p e r i e n c e d m y first m o m e n t o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s - that is, I s u d d e n l y realised that no one knew anything . . . a n d f r o m that m o m e n t I b e g a n t o think for myself, o r rather k n e w that I c o u l d . . . I r e m e m b e r s o clearly this c l a s s - r o o m , t h e h i g h w i n d o w s c o n s t r u c t e d s o that w e c o u l d n o t see o u t o f t h e m , the d e s k s , t h e p l a t f o r m o n w h i c h t h e H e a d M a s t e r sat, his s c h o l arly, thin face, his n e r v o u s habits o f twitching his m o u t h a n d jerking his h a n d s - a n d s u d d e n l y this inner revelation o f knowing that he knew nothing - n o t h i n g that is, a b o u t a n y t h i n g that really m a t t e r e d . T h i s w a s m y first inner liberation f r o m t h e p o w e r o f external life. F r o m that t i m e , I k n e w for certain a n d that m e a n s a l w a y s by inner individual authentic perc e p t i o n w h i c h is t h e o n l y source o f real k n o w l e d g e - that all m y l o a t h i n g o f religion as it w a s taught m e w a s r i g h t .
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The maps produced by modern materialistic scientism leave all the questions that really matter unanswered. More than that, they do not even show a way to a possible answer: they deny the validity of the questions. The situation was desperate enough in my youth half a century ago; it is even worse now because the ever more rigorous application of the scientific method to all subjects and disciplines has destroyed even the last remnants of ancient wisdom - at least in the Western world. It is being loudly proclaimed, in the name of scientific objectivity, that 'values and meanings are nothing but defence mechanisms and reaction formations'; that man is 'nothing but a complex biochemical mechanism powered by a combustion system which energises computers with prodigious storage facilities for retaining encoded information' ; Sigmund Freud even assured us that 'this alone I know with certainty, namely that man's value judgments are guided absolutely by their desire for happiness, and are therefore merely an attempt to bolster up their illusions by arguments'. How is anyone to resist the pressure of such statements, made in the name of objective science, unless, like Maurice Nicoll, he suddenly receives 'this inner revelation' of knowing that men, however learned they might be, who say such things, know nothing about anything that really matters'? People are asking for bread and they are being given stones. They beg for advice about what they should do 'to be saved', and they are told that the idea of salvation has no intelligible content and is nothing but an infantile neurosis. They long for guidance on how to live as responsible human beings, and they are told that they are machines, like computers, without free will and therefore without responsibility. 'The present danger,' says Dr Viktor E. Frankl, a psychiatrist of unshakeable sanity, 'does not really lie in the loss of universality on the part of the scientist, but rather in his pretence and claim of totality . . . What we have to deplore therefore is not so much the fact that
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' Yet they remain our reality. 'The true nihilism of today'. such as 'Tell me precisely what you want and I shall tell you how to get it. Questions like 'What should I do?' or 'What must I do to be saved?' are strange questions because they relate to ends. 'Tell me what you need for happiness. No techanical answer will do. are insufficiently 'programmed'. particularly among the young. but above all of what they want. But the answer. not simply to means. it seems. 'is reductionism.' The whole point is that I do not know what I want. Ortega y Gasset once remarked that 'life is fired at us point-blank'. Human phenomena are thus turned into mere epiphenomena. will not do." After many centuries of theological imperialism. which can at any moment lead to the collapse of our civilisation. This is very strange and. but rather the fact that specialists are generalising. says Dr Frankl. doubt. and act with the surefootcdness of animals. They hesitate. and the result is a degree of bewilderment and disorientation. run hither and thither. Perhaps someone says: 7 14 . In this life we find ourselves as in a strange country. because I do not know what I need for happiness. Maybe all I want is to be happy. again.scientists are specialising.' Decisions have to be taken that we are not ready for. Human beings. we have now had three centuries of an ever more aggressive 'scientific imperialism'.. Not only are they utterly helpless when they are born and remain so for a long time: even when fully grown they do not move. We cannot say: 'Hold it! I am not quite ready. change their minds. everything we are and everything we become. quite irrational. and I shall then be able to advise you what to do' . Contemporary nihilism no longer brandishes the word nothingness.this answer. Wait until I have sorted things out. uncertain not simply of how to get what they want. on the face of it. today nihilism is camouflaged as nothing-but-ness.. aims have to be chosen that we cannot see clearly.

if you do miss them. To do this is sometimes called to philosophise. The most important part of any inquiry or exploration is its beginning.' He also said: 'No god is a philosopher or seeker after wisdom for he is wise already. leave you in total perplexity.' If something is there. that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself. Map-making is an empirical art which makes use of a high degree of abstraction but none the less clings to reality with something akin to self-abandonment.'For happiness you need wisdom' . for that would make the map as big as the world. and seeking after. is 'Accept everything. one may employ the most rigorous methods during the later stages of investigation but they will never retrieve the situation. as it Were. and philosophy begins with wonder. most important for orientation: outstanding landmarks. wisdom.' One way of looking at the world as a whole is by means of a map. It is simply a beginning 8 9 15 . Socrates said: 'Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher. if it has any kind of existence. which you cannot miss or which. some sort of a plan or outline that shows where the various things are to be found . of course. in its proper place. Neither do I he ignorant seek after wisdom. Map-making is not the whole of philosophy. reject nothing. that is to say. it must be indicated on the map. for herein is the evil of ignorance.not all things. As has often been pointed out. just as a map or guidebook is not the whole of geography. Its motto.but what is wisdom? ' For happiness you need the truth that makes you free' but what is the truth that makes us free ? Who will tell me where I can find it? Who can guide me to it or at least point out the direction in which I have to proceed ? In this book we shall look at the world and try and see it whole. if people notice it and are interested in it. in a sense. but the things that are most prominent. if a false or superficial beginning has been made. and philosophy has been defined as the love of.

let this be understood as clearly as possible. and if you know them well. A map or guidebook. relates to the distinction between two types of problem. 'convergent' and 'divergent'. living in this world. it merely helps to identify them.the very beginning that is at present lacking. you can always find your location by them. when people ask: 'What does it all mean?' or 'What am I supposed to do with my life ?' My map or guidebook is constructed on the recognition of four Great Truths . The Great Truth about the world is that it is a hierarchical structure of at least four great Levels of Being. 2 'Man' .his equipment wherewith to meet 'the World'..' For this purpose. that you can see them wherever you happen to be. as it were which are so prominent. The Great Truth about man's equipment wherewith to meet the world is the principle of 'adequateness' {adaequatio). 16 . The Great Truth about man's learning relates to the 'Four Fields of Knowledge'. The guidebook. This simple statement indicates that we shall need to study: 1 'The World'. and if you cannot recognise them. according to the precepts of the Tibetan teachers. a p h i l o s o p h y c o m p r e h e n s i v e e n o u g h t o e m b r a c e the w h o l e o f k n o w l e d g e is indispensable. does not 'solve' problems and does not 'explain' mysteries.landmarks. everybody's task is as defined by the last words spoken by the Buddha: 'Work out your salvation with diligence. The Great Truth about living this life. 3 his way of learning about the world. so all-pervading. you are lost. is about 'Man lives in the world'. it might be said. and 4 what it means to 'live' in this world. Thereafter.

This is a programme conceived by a mind both powerful and frighteningly narrow.a s y s t e m o f m e d i t a t i o n w h i c h will p r o d u c e t h e p o w e r o f c o n centrating t h e m i n d o n a n y t h i n g w h a t s o e v e r is i n d i s p e n s a b l e . approached his self-set task in quite a different way. s p e e c h a n d m i n d ) as a n a i d o n t h e P a t h is i n d i s p e n s a b l e . Descartes (1595-1650). attempt to ascend to the knowledge of all others by precisely similar steps'. for instance. Descartes.' he said. the father of modern rationalism. 10 II The more recent philosophers of Europe have seldom been faithful map-makers. because his primary interest is that we should 17 . w e m u s t s t o p short there. and then. a n art o f living w h i c h will e n a b l e o n e t o utilise e a c h activity ( o f b o d y . to whom modern philosophy owes so much.' Only such objects should engage our attention 'to the sure and indubitable knowledge of which our mental powers seem to be adequate'. and he emphasised specially that he spoke 'of our Reason and not of our imagination nor of our senses'. insisted that 'we should never allow ourselves to be persuaded excepting by the evidence of our Reason'. starting with the intuitive apprehension of all those that are absolutely simple. 1 5 Descartes limits his interest to knowledge and ideas that are precise and certain beyond any possibility of doubt. thus w e shall spare o u r s e l v e s superfluous l a b o u r . W e m u s t m a k e n o a t t e m p t t o e x a m i n e w h a t f o l l o w s . 'Those who seek the direct road to truth. whose narrowness is further demonstrated by the Rule: 11 12 13 14 If in t h e m a t t e r s t o b e e x a m i n e d w e c o m e t o a s t e p in t h e series o f w h i c h o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g is n o t sufficiently well a b l e t o h a v e a n intuitive c o g n i t i o n . The method of reason is to 'reduce involved and obscure propositions step by step to those that are simpler. 'should not bother with any object of which they cannot have a certainty equal to the demonstrations of arithmetic and geometry.

is n o t w h a t it is in reality. t o partake o f the genius o f the Creator. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) 17 18 18 . made a clean sweep and undertook to start afresh. T h e w h o l e o f physics. Descartes broke with tradition. Of any m a n ? Are all men 'adequate' to grasp all truth? As Descartes has demonstrated. t o speak t o u s . w h i c h d o e s not a n s w e r q u e s t i o n s bearing u p o n the first principles o f things. 1 6 There is no guarantee that the world is made in such a way that indubitable truth is the whole truth. T h e s e are analysed exhaustively b y geometric e x t e n s i o n a n d local m o v e m e n t . 'Every modern philosopher. it annihilates everything w h i c h causes things t o s y m b o l i s e with the spirit. T h e mathematical k n o w l e d g e o f nature. a certain interpretation o f p h e n o m e n a . This k n o w l e d g e is. This kind of arrogance became the 'style' of European philosophy. for h i m . it d o e s v i o l e n c e t o it. is n o t h i n g but geometry. the w h o l e o f t h e p h i l o s o p h y o f nature. finding out everything by himself. And whose truth. .' as Maritain remarks. 'is a Cartesian in the sense that he looks upon himself as starting off in the absolute. . It m e c h a n i s e s n a t u r e .' The alleged fact that philosophy 'had been cultivated for many centuries by the best minds that have ever lived and that nevertheless no single thing is to be found in it which is not a subject of dispute and in consequence is not dubious' led Descartes to what amounted to the 'withdrawal from wisdom' and the exclusive concentration on knowledge as firm and indubitable as mathematics and geometry. Nothing can be precise unless it can be quantified in one way or another. the revelation o f the very essence o f things. As Jacques Maritain comments. and some men are more prone to doubt than others. T h e universe b e c o m e s d u m b . and as having the mission of bringing men a new conception of the world. the mind of man can doubt everything it cannot grasp with ease.become 'masters and possessors of nature'. that is. for D e s c a r t e s . whose understanding would it be ? That of man. T h u s Cartesian e v i d e n c e g o e s straight to m e c h a n i s m .

a form of defeatism in philosophy. While traditional wisdom had considered the human mind as weak but open-ended. which insisted. not without plausibility. that is capable of reaching beyond itself towards higher and higher levels. How could one obtain clear and precise ideas about such qualitative notions as 'higher' or 'lower' ? Was it not the most urgent task of reason to put into their place quantitative measurements? Perhaps the 'mathematicism' of Descartes had gone too far. that the reach of the human mind was strictly limited and that there was no point in taking any interest in matters beyond its capacity. Kant w a s n o t shifting f r o m m a t h e m a t i c s t o p h i l o s o p h y . not to say fanaticism. remarks. while within these limits it possessed virtually unlimited powers. which had engaged the most intense efforts of earlier generations. From the point of view of philosophical map-making. But there was also an even more significant withdrawal and impoverishment: while traditional wisdom had always presented the world as a threedimensional structure (as symbolised by the cross). became the main current of European philosophy. so Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) set out to make I new start. to get rid of the vertical dimension. But as Etienne Gilson. b u t from m a t h e m a t i c s t o p h y s i c s . simply ceased to appear on the map. Scepticism. the incomparable master of the history of philosophy. the new thinking took it as axiomatic that the mind's reach had fixed and narrow limits. where it was not only meaningful but of essential importance to distinguish always and everywhere between 'higher' and 'lower' things and Levels of Being. tliis meant a very great impoverishment: entire regions of human interest. A s K a n t himself i m m e d i a t e l y c o n c l u d e d : 'The true m e t h o d o f m e t a p h y s i c s is fundamentally I lie s a m e a s that w h i c h N e w t o n h a s i n t r o d u c e d i n t o natural 19 .had already pleaded in a similar vein. the new thinking strove with determination. which could be clearly determined.

a n d t o j u d g e ever m o r e c o m p l e x p r o b l e m s o f h u m a n c o n d u c t . 'What am I to do with my life ?' The answer could be more individualistic-selfish or more social-unselfish. . The Critique of Pure Reason is a masterly description o f w h a t t h e structure o f t h e h u m a n m i n d s h o u l d be. other than a utilitarian one. 20 . a n d their limits. The proper task of philosophy was formulated by Etienne Gilson as follows: It is its p e r m a n e n t d u t y t o order a n d t o regulate a n ever wider area o f scientific k n o w l e d g e . A 'higher' animal ? Yes. to the question. So the vertical dimension disappeared from the philosophical maps. t o n e w s c i e n c e s .science. . a n d a s s u m i n g that c o n c e p t i o n t o b e true t o reality. 20 Ill The loss of the vertical dimension meant that it was no longer possible to give an answer. N o t h i n g can s h o w m o r e clearly t h e essential w e a k n e s s o f p h y s i c i s m as a philosophical m e t h o d . it is its never-ended task t o k e e p t h e o l d sciences in their natural limits. u n d e r the s w a y o f the s a m e r e a s o n b y w h i c h a l o n e m a n remains t h e j u d g e o f his o w n w o r k s a n d . after G o d . t o assign their p l a c e s . t h e master o f his o w n destiny. 1 9 Neither mathematics nor physics can entertain the qualitative notion of 'higher' or 'lower'. last. in order t o a c c o u n t for the existence o f a N e w t o n i a n c o n c e p t i o n o f nature. a n d w h i c h h a s there y i e l d e d s u c h fruitful results .' Nor was it possible to define the nature of man other than as that of an animal. n o t least. but it could not help being utilitarian: either 'Make yourself as comfortable as you can' or 'Work for the greatest happiness of the greatest number. which henceforth concentrated on somewhat far-fetched problems like ' D o other people exist?' or 'How can I know anything at all?' or ' D o other people have experiences analogous to mine ?' and thus ceased to be of any help to people in the awesome task of picking their way through life. t o k e e p all h u m a n activities. h o w e v e r c h a n g i n g their c i r c u m s t a n c e s .

in many other respects many animals could be described as 'higher' than man. and so it would be best to try and avoid nebulous terms like 'higher' or 'lower'. . a n d b y h i s e n d e a v o u r s t o t e n d t o something surpassing the whole state of the present life .perhaps. In the context of evolution. in o r d e r t o w e a n m e n from sensible pleasures t o virtue. so that he might learn to aspire. but only in some respects. It w a s w i t h t h i s m o t i v e . None of this leads to a helpful answer to the question. If he moves lower. and man was undoubtedly a latecomer and could therefore be thought of as standing at the top of the evolutionary ladder. to 'see God'. develops only his lower faculties. 'higher' could be generally associated with 'later'. . then he makes himself deeply unhappy. to gain knowledge of the higher and highest things and. 'What am I to do with my life?' Pascal had said: 'Man wishes to be happy and only exists to be happy and cannot wish not to be happy. even to the point of despair. . unless one spoke in strictly evolutionary terms. because to do so he would need to be omniscient. . W h e r e f o r e s i n c e m a n is d i r e c t e d b y d i v i n e p r o v i d e n c e to a higher good than human frailty can attain in t h e p r e s e n t life . that 'he never can say definitely and consistently what it is that he really wishes' and he cannot 'determine with certainty what would make him truly happy.' Traditional wisdom had a reassuringly plain answer: Man's happiness is to move higher. 2 3 2! . to develop his highest faculties. t o o k care to show that there are other g o o d s of greater a c c o u n t t h a n those which a p p e a l t o t h e senses.' but the new thinking of the philosophers insisted. With unperturbable certainty St Thomas Aquinas argued: 21 22 N o m a n tends t o d o a t h i n g by his desire a n d e n d e a v o u r unless it b e p r e v i o u s l y k n o w n t o h i m . it w a s n e c e s s a r y f o r h i s m i n d t o b e b i d d e n t o something higher t h a n t h o s e t h i n g s t o w h i c h o u r r e a s o n c a n r e a c h in t h e p r e s e n t life. if possible. that the philosophers. t h e t a s t e o f w h i c h t h i n g s affords m u c h g r e a t e r d e l i g h t t o t h o s e w h o devote themselves t o active or contemplative virtues. which he shares with the animals. with Kant.

a s far as possible here below. by travelling to the moon and into space. 4 2 ) : Mary hath chosen the better part.These teachings. The point is that without the qualitative concepts of 'higher' and 'lower' it is impossible to even think of guidelines for living that lead beyond individual or collective utilitarianism and selfishness. b u t will b e c o n s u m m a t e d in t h e life t o c o m e : while the active and civic life does not transcend the limits of this life. . which makes it possible to dis- . a s t h e g o o d in w h i c h w e shall d e l i g h t s u r p a s s e s all s e n s i b l e g o o d . a n d m o r e c o n t i n u o u s l y d e l i g h t f u l . c o m m o n t o h i m a n d o t h e r a n i m a l s . although he. a n d a s t h a t p l e a s u r e is freer f r o m all a l l o y o f s o r r o w o r t r o u b l e o f a n x i e t y . which are the traditional wisdom of all peoples in all parts of the world. belief or disbelief is not the matter at issue here. H e n c e the philosophers w h o were u n a b l e t o o b t a i n full k n o w l e d g e o f t h a t final b e a t i t u d e . n a m e l y t h e c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t r u t h . 24 Most modern readers will be reluctant to believe that perfect happiness is attainable by methods of which their modern world knows nothing. w h e n o u r L o r d s a i d ( L u k e X . The ability to see the Great Truth of the hierarchic structure of the world. all t h e m o r e perfect t h a n s e n s u o u s p l e a s u r e a s t h e intellect is a b o v e t h e s e n s e s . He hopes to do so by growing rich. N o w i n t h a t v i s i o n [the d i v i n e v i s i o n ] t h e r e is t h e m o s t p e r f e c t p l e a s u r e . It is worth listening again to St Thomas: T h e r e is a d e s i r e in m a n . which shall not be taken from her. a n d t h r o u g h lack of m o d e r a t i o n b e c o m e i n t e m p e r a t e a n d incontinent. I n this life t h e r e is n o t h i n g s o like t h i s u l t i m a t e a n d perfect h a p p i n e s s a s t h e life of t h o s e w h o c o n t e m p l a t e t h e t r u t h . However. too. n a m e l y t h e d e s i r e for the enjoyment of pleasure: a n d this m e n p u r s u e especially b y l e a d i n g a v o l u p t u o u s life. have become virtually incomprehensible to modern man. . desires nothing more than somehow to be able to rise above 'the whole state of the present life'. H o l y W r i t c o n m e n d s t h e c o n t e m p l a t i v e r a t h e r t h a n o t h e r f o r m s o f life. F o r t h i s r e a s o n t o o . by moving around at ever increasing speed. is m o r e p e n e t r a t i n g . F o r c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t r u t h b e g i n s in t h i s life. p l a c e d m a n ' s u l t i m a t e h a p p i n e s s in t h a t c o n t e m p l a t i o n w h i c h is p o s s i b l e d u r i n g t h i s life.

tinguish between higher and lower Levels of Being. We therefore now turn to a study of the hierarchical structure of the world. everywhere. Without it. it is not possible to find out where everything has Ms proper and legitimate place. and of course vice versa. 23 . is one Of (he indispensable conditions of understanding. r a n be understood only when its Level of Being is fully I a ken into account. Many things are true at a low Level of Being and become absurd at a higher level. Everything.

We see what our ancestors have always seen: a great 'Chain of Being' which seems to divide naturally into four sections . and consider the successive gain of qualities. as they used to be called . N o one has any difficulty in recognising the astonishing and mysterious difference between a living plant and one that has died and has thus fallen to the lowest Level of Being. of the constitutive pattern of the universe'. tends to start from inanimate matter and consider man the last link of the chain. This 'was. What is this power that has been lost ? We call it 'life'. animal and human. or it can be seen upwards from the lowest to the highest.four 'kingdoms'. until not much more than a century ago.is unimportant at this stage. For our purposes.2 Levels of Being i Our task is to look at the world and see it whole. and in line with modern habits of thought we shall start at the lowest level. or powers. 1 24 . or downwards . The modern view. yet the difference exists. in fact. having evolved the widest range of useful qualities. Scientists tell us that we must not talk of a 'life force' because no such force has ever been found to exist. probably the most widely familiar conception of the general scheme of things. The Chain of Being can be seen as extending downwards from the highest to the lowest. plant. as we move to the higher levels. largely influenced by the theory of evolution. the direction of looking upwards.mineral. inanimate matter. The ancient view begins with the Divine and sees the downward Chain of Being as an increasing distance from the centre and a progressive loss of qualities. the mineral kingdom.

and we should never cease to marvel that something that could do nothing is now able to extract nourishment from its environment. and the more deeply we contemplate it the clearer it becomes that here we are faced with what might be called an ontological discontinuity or. nameless. a jump in the Level of Being. 'true to form'. and I shall therefore attach to these mysterious powers the label 'consciousness'. indicating something that is there to be noticed and studied but cannot be explained. again. It is easy to recognise consciousness in a dog. From plant to animal. there is a similar jump. a cat or a horse. a set of instructions. if only because they can be knocked unconscious. on how life could be created out of lifeless matter. because any word-label we might attach to them can lead people to think that this was not merely a hint but an adequate description.We could call it V . fully developed animal to do things that are totally outside the range of possibilities of the typical. in the terminology used above. a similar addition of powers. more simply. 'JC' is something quite new and additional. If we call the mineral level m\ we can call the plant level m+x. which enables the typical. as it were. can be i i . If the plant. There is nothing in the laws. we cannot talk without words. strictly speaking. This factor x is obviously worthy of our closest attention. Even if somebody could provide us with a recipe. grow and reproduce itself. the mysterious character of 'x' would remain. particularly since we are able to destroy it :i I though it is completely outside our knowledge and ability to create it. fully developed plant. These powers. concepts and formulae of physics and chemistry to explain or even only to describe such powers. However. are mysterious and. a condition similar to that of a plant: the processes of life are continuing although the animal has lost its peculiar powers. We can refer to them by means of the letter y\ which will be the safest course.

sacred. Again we can say that 'y' is something quite new and additional.called m+x. Consciousness and intelligence. and all our 'explanations' of it do not really explain anything. We must. This power 'z'. the animal has to be described as m+x+y. consciousness recoiling upon itself. when compared with the level 'plant' . opens up unlimited possibilities of purposeful learning. I shall call it 'self-awareness'. What shall we call it ? As it is necessary to have wordlabels. Anything that we can destroy but are unable to make is. as it were. in a sense. Man has powers of life like the plant. recoil upon themselves. we are able to destroy but not to create it.innumerable things that lie totally outside the range of possibilities of even the most highly developed animals cannot be disputed and has never been denied. the factor y is worthy of the closest attention. Again. a master or controller. but the fact that man is able to do . and evidently something more: the mysterious power ' z \ What is it? How could it be defined? What could it be called? This power V has undoubtedly a great deal to do with the fact that man is not only able to think but also able to be aware of his thinking. a jump in the Level of Being. who would seriously deny that there are. take great care always to remember that such a wordlabel is merely (to use a Buddhist phrase) 'a finger point26 . a power at a higher level than consciousness itself. There is not merely a conscious being. however. investigating. but a thinker capable of watching and studying his own thinking. Moving from the animal level to the human level. but a being capable of being conscious of its consciousness. not merely a thinker. formulating and accumulating knowledge. There is something able to say T and to direct consciousness in accordance with its own purposes. additional powers? What precisely they are has become a matter of controversy in modern times.an ontological discontinuity.and is doing . again. powers of consciousness like the animal. exploring.

27 . We know that all three factors . Our initial review of the four great Levels of Being can be summed up as follows: 'Man' can be written m+x+y+z 'Animal' can be written m+x-\-y 'Plant' can be written m-\-x 'Mineral' can be written m v. y and z are invisible. simply because it can be based on practical experience.ing to the moon'. if we want to understand anything about man's position in the universe. consciousness and life. and life can disappear leaving an inanimate body behind. they are extremely difficult to grasp.x. We could then say: 'Man' can be written M 'Animal' can be written M—z 'Plant' can be written M—z—y 'Mineral' can be written M—z—y—x Such a 'downward' scheme is easier for us to understand than the 'upward' one. we could start with the highest level directly known to us . only m is visible.and reach the lower Levels of Being by a progressive subtraction of powers. we can in fact deliberately destroy them. to give consciousness to living matter. consciousness can disappear while life continues.can weaken and die away. As we have mentioned before. instead of taking 'minerals' as our base-line and reaching the higher Levels of Being by an addition of powers.man . But it is outside our power to give life to inanimate matter. We can observe and in a sense feel the process of diminution to the point of the apparently total disappearance of self-awareness. although their effects are matters of everyday experience. Self-awareness can disappear while consciousness continues. and finally to add the power of selfawareness to conscious beings. The 'moon itself remains highly mysterious and needs to be studied with the greatest patience and perseverance. y and z .

What we can do ourselves. absolutely nothing. about them. Evolution as a process of the spontaneous. are totally inoperative and therefore cannot be noticed). and self-awareness . Physics and chemistry can tell us nothing. out of inanimate matter is utterly and totally incomprehensible. Where there is life there is form. is not put into question by the fact that some of the frontiers are occasionally disputed. y and z . what we cannot do at all. Physics and chemistry deal with the lowest level. allowing for higher and lower beings within the band. which reproduces itself over and over again from seed or similar beginnings. there is no need to enter into such speculations at this stage. we can in a sense understand. however. These sciences possess no concepts relating to such powers and are incapable of describing their effects. The existence of the four kingdoms. We hold fast to what we can see and experience: the Universe as a great hierarchic structure of our markedly different Levels of Being. Each level is obviously a broad band. and there is no basis for human thought. Nothing comparable fits into the scheme of physics or chemistry. then anything and everything is possible.life. accidental emergence of the powers of life.do not exist (or. however. Gestalt. in any case. we cannot understand not even 'in a sense'. consciousness. To say that life is nothing but a property of certain peculiar combinations of atoms is like saying that 28 . nor would there be any necessity for us to believe that two minus two leaves nothing: why not believe it could accidentally make five ? For our purposes. Two plus two would not have to be four but could just as well be five or anything else. and the precise determination of where the lower band ends and the higher band begins may sometimes be a matter of difficulty and dispute. x. which do not possess this Gestalt but develop it in the process of growth. If the accidental emergence of the higher from the lower is possible. consciousness and self-awareness. 'mineral'. At this level.

(This is a very telling example of how philosophical theories. But a distinction between consciousness (> ) and self-awareness (z) is seldom drawn. Their influence. except that it misses out on the 'animalness' of the animal. modern thinking has become increasingly uncertain of whether or not there is any 'real' difference between animal and man. and with the increasing 'rationalisation' of the modern life-style more and more animals are being treated as if they really were nothing but 'animal machines'. Some zoologists. As a result. after a while. Nor is there any excuse for the pretence that consciousness is nothing but a property of life. but devote infinite attention to the study and analysis of the physico-chemical body that is life's carrier. is as yet deplorably small. deal in one way or another with factor y consciousness. have advanced beyond this level of erudite absurdity and have developed an ability to see animals as more than complex machines. as distinct from the natural sciences. If this is so let it be frankly admitted. at least. To describe an animal as a physico-chemical system of extreme complexity is no doubt perfectly correct. A great deal of study is being undertaken of the behaviour of animals for the purpose of understanding the nature of man. there is no excuse for the pretence that life is nothing but physics and chemistry. It may well be that modern science has no method for coming to grips with 'life as such'. This is analogous to ! 29 . no matter how absurd and offensive to common sense.) All the 'humanities'.Shakespeare's Hamlet is nothing but a property of a peculiar combination of letters. The French or German versions of the play 'own' different combinations of I clters. The extraordinary thing about the modern 'life sciences' is that they hardly ever deal with life as such. The truth is that the peculiar combination of letters is nothing but a property of Shakespeare's Hamlet. however. tend to become. 'normal practice' in everyday life. the factor x.

from the crudest to the most sublime ? Why talk about fundamental differences. All the four constituent elements of the human person -m. in recognising their quality. to realise. as it were.in fact. provided we recognise their quality and. y and z deserve study. between the powers of life. but there can be little doubt about their relative importance in terms of knowledge for the conduct of our lives. as it were.\). certain things about him can be elucidated by studying minerals. of molecules and atoms and electrons and innumerable other small particles. although not noticeable (or not yet noticed) by man. since man. Naturally. Or maybe they are infused. Is there really anything beyond the world of matter. Maybe traces of these powers exist already at the lower levels.studying physics with the hope of learning something about life (. everything can be learned about him except that which makes him human. 'jumps' in the Chain of Being or 'ontological discontinuities' when all we can be really sure of are differences in degree ? It is not necessary for us to battle over the question of whether the palpable and overwhelmingly obvious differences between the four great Levels of Being are best seen as differences in kind or differences in degree. never fail to remember that they are beyond anything our own intelligence enables us to create. and not simply in degree. What has to be fully understood is that there are differences in kind. on appropriate occasions from 'another world'. it is more difficult to distinguish consciousness from life. consciousness and self-awareness. plants. and animals . It is not unduly difficult to appreciate the difference between 'alive' and 'lifeless'. ex- . the ever more complex combinations of which allegedly account for simply everything. and so does the difficulty and uncertainty experienced by modern humanity. x. This importance increases in the order given above. contains the three lower Levels of Being. It is not essential for us to have theories about their origin.

no being can understand anything higher than itself. as one says today. or an unfinished animal. of wrongful and degraded definitions of man. or 'programmed'. I Icnce we are given a large number of definitions of man which make him out to be nothing but an exceptionally intelligent animal with an unduly large brain. awe. or a toolmaking animal. or simply a naked ape. Nothing is more conducive to the brutalisation of the modern world than the launching. and by attaining a higher level expand its understanding . people who use these terms cheerfully include themselves in their definitions and will have some reason for doing so. indeed. What could one expect of such a creature. confined. For others they sound merely inane.perience and appreciate the difference between selfawareness and consciousness (that is. his faculties are indeed infinite. A human being can indeed ••(rain and stretch towards the higher and induce a process of growth through adoration. N o doubt. and when they think of people as naked apes. wonder.and this is a subject that will occupy us extensively later on. they are not narrowly determined. of oneself? When people speak of animals as 'animal machines' they soon start treating them accordingly. But people with whom I he power of self-awareness {£) is poorly developed cannot grasp it as a separate power and tend to take it as nothing but a slight extension of consciousness (y). all doors are opened to the free entry of bestiality. The reason for the difficulty is not far to seek: while the higher comprises and therefore in a sense understands the lower. or a political animal. in the name of science. between y and z) is hard indeed. of other 'naked apes' or. such as 'the naked ape'. 'What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty!' Because of the power of selfawareness (z). at I miration and imitation. Werner Jaeger expressed a profound truth in the statement that. once a human potentiality is 31 . like defining a dog as a barking plant or a running cabbage.

present at one moment and all too easily gone at the next.realised. They have to be developed and 'realised' by each human individual if he is to become truly human. that is the rarest power of all. and certainly not anything that can be derived from the observation of animals.been the primary concern of mankind. The study of this factor z has at all ages . I said earlier on that man can be written m+x+y+z. could know what it means to be a human being and that they too have a contribution to make. When it comes to selfawareness. Yet all men. It is magnificent to become as human as one is able. the very act of realising one's potentialities might constitute an advance over what has gone before. These four elements form a sequence of increasing rarity and vulnerability. all the same.' says Dr Catherine Roberts. compared with the ubiquitousness and tenacity of life. to kill a body means to deprive it of x. it 'returns' to the earth. it exists.except the present . as distinct from the powers of life and consciousness. The greatest human achievements define man . y and z. have nothing automatic or mechanical about them. not any average behaviour or performance. a limitless potentiality rather than an actuality. through knowledge of superior humanness. 2 This 'open-endedness' is the wonderful result of the specifically human powers of self-awareness (z). life is exceedingly rare and precarious. How is it possible to study something so vulnerable and fleeting? How is it possible to study that which does the studying? How 32 .not the common run. And it requires no help from science. Compared with inanimate matter. that is to say. essentially. In addition. which. but the inanimate matter remains. a person. 'All men cannot be outstanding. Matter (m) cannot be destroyed . a supreme and generally fleeting achievement of a person. The powers of self-awareness are. consciousness is very rare and vulnerable. precious and vulnerable to the highest degree.

lacking the dimensions of selfawareness and consciousness. 33 . 8Ven though similarities and 'correspondences' remain. and no elaboration of a line. The ontological differences of these four elements are analogous to the discontinuity of dimensions. In terms of this analogy. animals. can ever turn it into a surface. life (x). consciousness (>'). lacking the three 'invisible dimensions'. consciousness and selfawareness. or size. self-awareness ( z ) . it might be said that only man has 'real' existence in this world in so far as he alone possesses the 'three dimensions' of life. Before we can turn t < > them directly. matter.these four elements are ontologically. no increase in complexity. has no more reality than a geometrical point. and we never find self-awareness except as self-aware. that is in I heir fundamental nature. scientific observation by means of our five senses. subtlety.mdccd can I study the T that employs the very con•i lousness needed for the study? These questions will < iccupy us in a later part of this book. can verify their existence from our inner experience. conscious. no subtlety in its construction and no complexity. we never find consciousness except as conscious living matter.have but a shadowy existence. Existence in the physical world. there arc essential changes. A line is one-dimensional. different.life and consciousness . we know. every one of us. We never find life except as living matter. Equally. incommensurable and discontinuous. living matter. The other three are none the less known to us because we ourselves. and plants. no elaboration of a two-dimensional surface. with only two dimensions . Only one of them is directly accessible to objective. relate to a human being as a line relates to a solid. In this sense. with the intervention of additional powers. One. Analogically speaking.or twodimensional things exist only in our minds. can ever turn it into a solid. Matter (m). incomparable. we shall do well to take a closer look at the four great Levels of Being: how. is attained only by three-dimensional beings.

even caricatures. consciousness and self-awareness. life. A world without fellow human beings would be an eerie and unreal place of banishment. which may seem far-fetched from a logical point of view. consciousness and self-awareness. It may seem absurd to pursue such a line of thought. consciousness and self-awareness.This analogy. If the natural scientists should come and tell us that there are some beings that they call animals in whom no trace of consciousness can be detected. The company of animals could console us only because. Recognition is one thing. A simple inspection of the four great Levels of Being has led us to the recognition of the four elements matter. For us. with neither fellow humans nor animals the world would be a dreadful wasteland. they are reminders. identification quite another. They manifest and demonstrate most clearly the 'invisible dimensions' of life. we should experience a sense of enormous emptiness. 34 . total despair. points to an inescapable existential truth: The most 'real' world we live in is that of our fellow human beings. for we are made or marred by our relations with other people. It is this recognition that matters. of human beings. only recognition is important. not the precise association of the four elements with the Levels of Being. no matter how luscious its vegetation. it is not for us to argue with them. To call it one-dimensional would not seem to be an exaggeration. but it is surely not so absurd as a view that counts as 'real' only inanimate matter and treats as 'unreal'. Human existence in a totally inanimate environment. and we are entitled to choose typical and fully developed specimens from each Level of Being for our purposes. if it were possible. would be total emptiness. we could hardly be human ourselves. 'subjective' and therefore scientifically nonexistent the invisible dimensions of life. and to the extent to which. Without them. and this demonstration is not nullified or invalidated by any difficulty of classification in other cases.

has been unshakenly convinced that the Chain of Being extends upward beyond man.and the same goes for consciousness and self-awareness. we know also that there can be no Minks' or 'transitional forms'. exhibiting the four 'elements' that we have called matter. the higher does not merely possess powers that are additional to and exceed those possessed by the lower: it also has power over the lower. or a twodimensional picture can look like three-dimensional reality. life. Life is either present or absent . the power of organising the lower and using it for its own purposes. which need to be most carefully observed and studied. 35 . This universal conviction is impressive both for its duration and its intensity.m. until very recently. Living beings organise and utilise inanimate matter. In a hierarchic structure. let alone 'explained away'. but cannot be explained.there cannot be a half-presence . x. and self-aware beings can utilise consciousness. Difficulties of identification are often exacerbated by the fact that the lower level tends to produce a kind of mimicry or counterfeit of the higher. But neither the difficulties of identification and demarcation nor the possibilities of deception and error can be used as arguments against the existence of the four great Levels of Being. Are there powers that are higher than self-awareness? Are there Levels of Being above the human? At this stage in our investigation we need not do more than register the fact that the great majority of mankind.Once we have recognised the ontological gaps and discontinuities that separate the four 'elements' . throughout its known history. conscious beings can utilise life. just as an animated puppet can at times be mistaken for a living person. z • from one another. These four 'elements' are four irreducible mysteries. Those individuals of the past whom we still consider the wisest and greatest not only shared this belief but considered it of all truths the most important and the most profound. y. consciousness and selfawareness.

there is a certain. there is pure passivity. there is evidence of an 'inner life'. through the appearance of consciousness there is a striking shift from passivity to activity.not. At the level of 'animal'. organising and utilising is immeasurably extended. limited ability of adaptation to changing circumstances: it grows towards the light and extends its roots towards moisture and nutrients in the soil. organise nothing. a pure object. as evidenced by free and often purposeful movement not merely a gradual turning towards light but a swift action to obtain food or escape danger. totally dependent on circumstances and 'conginent'. The power of doing.3 Progressions i The four Levels of Being exhibit certain characteristics in a manner which I shall call progressions. The processes of life are speeded up. of happiness and unhappiness. it is not a pure object. passive. but not totally. fear. confidence. capable even of treating other beings as mere objects. organising and utilising. At the lowest level. Any being with an inner life cannot be a mere object: it is a subject itself. as the cat treats the mouse. It can even be said that there is an intimation of active intelligence in plants . At the 36 . that of 'minerals' or inanimate matter. expectation. utilise nothing. Perhaps the most striking progression is the movement from passivity to activity. A plant is mainly. A stone is wholly passive. It can do nothing. as active as that of animals. activity becomes more autonomous. of course. Even radioactive material is totally passive. disappointment and so forth. A plant is to a small extent a subject with its own power of doing.

IIHI autonomous human being. which we observe when reviewing the four Levels of Hiring. there is a subject that says T . even though there are everywhere practical limitations which he has to recognise and respect. utilising things around him for his own purposes. in no way an object. wholly active. The four Levels of Being are thus seen as pointing to the invisible existence of a I . To treat a person as if he or she were a mere object is a perversity. while he is undoubtedly a subject. There was thus conceived a Being. is indeed striking. a Person above all merely human persons. but it is not complete.the wind will 37 . N o matter how much a person may be weighed down and enslaved by circumstances. wholly sovereign and autonomous. to extrapolate (as we might say today) the observed curve to its completion. Man can achieve a measure of control over his environment and thereby his life. entirely in control of everything: a personal God. the 'Unmoved Mover'. The progressive movement from passivity to activity. not to say a crime. to complete the process. A large weight of passivity remains even in the most sovereign . there cannot be change of movement without a physical cause. or its intuitive powers. and that there is a very close linkage between cause and effect. mankind has always used its imagination. above all circumstances and contingencies. An interesting and instructive aspect of the progression from passivity to activity is the change in the origination of movement. from object to subject. Aware of this. contingent.a person: another marked change from passivity to activity. at the level of inanimate matter. There is no definable limit to his possibilities. he remains in many respects an object dependent. there is always the possibility of selfassertion and a rising above circumstances.human level.eve! (or Levels) of Being above the human. It is clear that. At the level of plant the causal chain is more complex: physical causes will have physical effects as at the lower level . pushed around by circumstances.

movement on the basis of what might b called 'naked insight'. A person might move to anothe place not because present conditions motivate him to do so. The power of self-awareness add for him another possibility of the origination of move ment . At the animal level. I is possible to imagine a supra-human Level of Being 38 . but because he anticipates in his mind certain future developments. While these additional possibilities .one that does not seem to exist at any lowe level. it can also be stimulate like a plant. In the present context it i merely necessary to recognise that there is at the human level an additional possibility of the origination o movement . recognising its enemy. The sun's rays cause th plant to turn towards the sun. by all human beings. There is a lo of controversy about will. it is evident t h a they vary greatly and with most of us are very weak. but there is in addition a third causativ factor which comes from inside: certain drives. but also by force originating in its 'inner space': recognising its master it jumps for joy. that is.but certai physical factors act not simply as physical cause bu simultaneously as stimulus. at the level of man there is no such need. at tractions or compulsions of a totally non-physical kind they can be called motives.will.are no doubt possessed to some degree. causation o movement becomes still more complex. A dog is motivated. the power to move and act even when there is no physical compulsion. it runs in fear While at the animal level the motivating cause has to be physically present to be effective. no physical stimulu and no motivating force actually present. An animal can be pushed around like a stone. again. Its leaning too much i one direction causes the roots on the opposite side t grow stronger.shake the tree whether it is living or dead .the power of foreknowledge and therewith the power o anticipating future possibilities . and therefore moved not simply by physical forces or stimul impinging upon it from the outside. How free is will ? We shal deal with this matter later. namely.

there is no choice.where they would exist in perfection. means that there remains nothing to be determined. consciousness and self-awareness. most of the time. and a great deal about the 'inner space' of the human being: the space of the person. of creativity. Perfect foreknowledge of the future would therefore be considered a divine attribute. there is no 'inner space' where any autonomous powers could be marshalled. 'inner space' is the scene of freedom. no possibility of 'developing' or in any way changing its nature. at the extreme. because total necessity means the absence of any creative principle. At the level of inanimate matters. Inner space is created by the powers of life. of freedom. As we shall see. it is analogous to the zero dimension . if anything. It is easy to see that at the mineral level there is nothing but necessity. associated with perfect freedom of movement and perfect freedom from passivity. The progression from physical cause to stimulus to motive and to will would then be completed by a perfection of will capable of overriding all the causative forces that operate at the four Levels of Being known to us. As I have said before. more of that of animals. about the 'inner space' of plants. behave and act mechanically. We know little. Close observation discloses that most of us.a kind of nothingness which. n The progression from passivity to activity is similar and closely related to the progression from necessity to freedom. like a machine. hut we have direct and personal experience only of our own 'inner space' and the freedom it affords us. The 39 . The 'freedom' of indeterminacy is in fact the extreme opposite of freedom: a kind of necessity that can be understood only in terms of statistical probability. Inanimate matter is what it is and cannot be other. The socalled indeterminacy at the level of nuclear particles is simply another manifestation of necessity.

a tiny change of direction is being introduced. which is the power of freedom. Animals. acts . like an animal. a perfect Unity. Only when a man makes use of his power of selfawareness does he attain to the level of a person. not being lived. there is no integration. the higher animal is a unity. He is not. m There is also a marked and unmistakable progression towards integration and unity. by contrast.solely in response to outside influences. accumulated in the past. which determine his actions. to the fullest degree. are much more highly integrated beings. At that moment he is living. to the level of freedom. Even at plant level inner unity is so weak that parts of the plant can often be cut off and will continue to live and develop as separate beings. There are still numerous forces of necessity. At the mineral level. It is possible to imagine a perfect being who is always and invariably exercising his power of selfawareness. Seen as a biological system. similarly.specifically human power of self-awareness is asleep. Inanimate matter can be divided and subdivided without loss of character or Gestalt.more or less intelligently . It may be virtually unnoticeable. but many moments of self-awareness can produce many such changes and even turn a given movement into the opposite of its previous direction. and parts . In his 'inner space' he can develop a centre of strength so that the power of his freedom exceeds that of his necessity. but can become. an almighty and sovereign power. This would be a Divine Being. and the human being. he can make it his aim to become free. a millionaire. but a small dent is being made. unmoved by any necessity. He can make it his aim to become rich. To ask whether the human being has freedom is like asking whether man is a millionaire. simply because at this level there is nothing to lose.

on the mental plane. acting from its own 'inner space' into the space outside itself. he is generally so poorly integrated that he experiences himself as an assembly of many different personalities. so that the being ceases to be a mere object. Yet s u r e l y if I d o t h i n g s t h a t I really d o n ' t w a n t t o d o .of it cannot survive separation. integration is less perfect but is capable of considerable improvement through schooling. on the whole. T h e next place to inanimate bodies belongs t o plants. whence e m a n a t i o n p r o c e e d s f r o m w i t h i n . each saying T. he is most harmoniously integrated. As a biological system. even the highest animal attains only a very modest level of logicality and consistency. The classic expression of this experience is found in St Paul's letter to the Romans: M y o w n b e h a v i o u r baffles m e . a being with the power of selfawareness. [ R o m . is not guaranteed to him at birth and remains one of his major tasks. as modern psychology recognises.it m u s t b e sin t h a t h a s m a d e its h o m e in m y n a t u r e . One of the greatest scholastic statements on this progression of integration is found in the Summa contra Gentiles by St Thomas Aquinas: O f all t h i n g s t h e i n a n i m a t e o b t a i n t h e l o w e s t p l a c e . There is. for a s m u c h a s t h e p l a n t ' s i n t r i n s i c h u m o u r is c o n v e r t e d i n t o seed. and its intellect shadowy. it c a n n o t b e s a i d t h a t T a m d o i n g t h e m a t all . is weak. and becomes a subject. a n d f r o m t h e m n o e m a n a t i o n is p o s s i b l e e x c e p t b y t h e a c t i o n o f o n e o n a n o t h e r : t h u s . although integration. As a person. F o r I find m y s e l f n o t d o i n g w h a t I really w a n t t o d o but d o i n g w h a t I really loathe. w h i c h b e i n g c o m m i t t e d . a centre of strength and freedom. Man has obviously much more inner unity than any being below him. however. acted upon by outside forces. fire is e n g e n d e r e d f r o m fire w h e n a n e x t r a n e o u s b o d y is t r a n s f o r m e d by fire. however.14ff. VII. that is to say. its memory. a n d receives t h e q u a l i t y a n d f o r m o f fire. but little integration on the mental plane. P h i l l i p s t r a n s l a t i o n ] Integration means the creation of an inner unity.

terminates w i t h i n . distinct f r o m the branch. a l t h o u g h in it e m a n a t i o n p r o c e e d s f r o m w i t h i n .t o t h e soil g r o w s i n t o a plant. a n d yet it is not a perfect life. that w h i c h e m a n a t e s c o m e s forth b y little a n d little. w h e r e a s t h o s e w h i c h c a n o n l y m o v e e x t r a n e o u s things are w h o l l y lifeless. . w h e n c e it p r o c e e d s t o the i m a g i n a t i o n a n d . W h e r e f o r e the highest degree o f life is that which is a c c o r d i n g t o the intellect: for the intellect reflects o n itself. w h i c h is that o f the sensitive soul. t h o u g h b e g i n n i n g f r o m w i t h o u t . t h o u g h united t h e r e t o . . b e c a u s e in t h e m t o u n d e r s t a n d a n d to b e are n o t the s a m e thing . . h o w e v e r . the b e g i n n i n g a n d t h e e n d are in different s u b j e c t s : for n o sensitive p o w e r reflects o n itself. makes it very clear that 42 . t h e highest perfection o f life b e l o n g s t o G o d . the proper e m a n a t i o n whereof. W h e r e f o r e this degree o f life transcends that o f plants in s o m u c h as it is m o r e i n t i m a t e . v a r i o u s degrees in t h e intellectual life: b e c a u s e the h u m a n m i n d . t o t h e s t o r e h o u s e o f the m e m o r y . t a k e s its first step t o k n o w l e d g e f r o m w i t h o u t : for it c a n n o t u n d e r s t a n d apart f r o m p h a n t a s m s . here w e find t h e first traces o f life: since living things are t h o s e w h i c h m o v e t h e m s e l v e s t o act. Y e t the plant's life is imperfect because. T h e r e are. . Y e t in every p r o c e s s o f this k i n d o f e m a n a t i o n . the m o r e d o e s it penetrate w i t h i n : for the sensible object impresses a form o n the external senses. a n d falling t o t h e g r o u n d . A c c o r d i n g l y . a n d c a n u n d e r s t a n d itself. a n d in the e n d b e c o m e s altogether e x t r a n e o u s : t h u s the h u m o u r o f a tree gradually c o m e s froth from t h e tree a n d eventually b e c o m e s a b l o s s o m . the further the e m a n a t i o n p r o c e e d s . Therefore. further still. 1 This statement. It is a sign o f life in plants that s o m e t h i n g within t h e m is t h e c a u s e o f a form. A c c o r d i n g l y . intellectual life is m o r e perfect in the a n g e l s w h o s e intellect d o e s n o t p r o c e e d from s o m e t h i n g extrinsic t o acquire selfk n o w l e d g e . . A l s o . a n d then takes the form o f fruit. since t h e e m a n a t i o n is a l w a y s f r o m o n e thing t o a n o t h e r . Y e t their life d o e s n o t reach the highest degree o f perfection . unfamiliar as its mode of reasoning may be to the modern reader. . w h o s e u n d e r s t a n d i n g is n o t distinct f r o m H i s being . There is yet a b o v e that o f the plants a higher f o r m o f life. . t h o u g h a b l e t o k n o w itself. . p r o d u c e s by its seminal force a n o t h e r plant. I n d e e d if w e c o n s i d e r the m a t t e r carefully w e shall s e e that t h e first principle o f this e m a n a t i o n is s o m e t h i n g e x t r a n e o u s : since t h e intrinsic h u m o u r o f the tree is d r a w n t h r o u g h t h e r o o t s f r o m t h e soil w h e n c e the plant derives its n o u r i s h m e n t . a n d w h e n t h e fruit is perfect it is altogether severed from the tree. but k n o w s itself by itself.

even though still alive. o u r likes. a t t r a c t i o n s . all o u r affections. w e w o u l d live in a new humanity. The powers of life. while all this may appear obvious. The progression from visibility is just another facet of the great hierarchy of Levels of Being. taste or smell. This synonymity can be found in many languages. sound. feelings. d i s l i k e s .a r e t h e m s e l v e s invisible. u n c e r t a i n t i e s .' AT* . s p e c u l a t i o n s . T h e p e r s o n himself is invisible . s e n s a t i o n s . while 'lower' means and implies 'more outer'. is not a real cat for me until it has regained consciousness. p e r p l e x i t i e s .'higher' always means and implies 'more inner'. 2 Dr Nicoll insists that. a m b i t i o n s . 'deeper'. a v e r s i o n s . d r e a m s . Obviously the terms 'visibility' and 'invisibility' refer not merely to the visual sense but to all senses of external observation. 'shallower'. s e c r e t s . and also without extension or weight. consciousness and self-awareness that come into focus as we review the four Levels of Being are all wholly invisible. The invisibility of man has been incisively described by Maurice Nicoll: W e c a n all see a n o t h e r p e r s o n ' s b o d y d i r e c t l y . . a p p e t i t e s . the less visible it is likely to be. l o n g i n g s . p l a n n i n g . 'more external'. 'skin'. and an unconscious cat. T h e y c o n s t i t u t e ' o n e s e l f ' . 'less intimate'. 'more intimate'. t h e eyes o p e n i n g a n d s h u t t i n g . without colour. all o u r desires. i m a g i n a t i o n s . . There is no need to dwell on it at length. e m o t i o n s . Nevertheless. a h u m a n i t y o f appearances . who would deny that they are what we are mainly interested in? When I buy a packet of seeds my main interest is that the contents should be alive and not dead. 'more interior'. d o u b t s . f a n t a s i e s . a n d t h e b o d y e x p r e s s i n g itself a s a w h o l e in a c t i o n . . . p o n d e r i n g s . t h e lines o f t h e m o u t h a n d face c h a n g i n g .. a r e invisible. it is not at all obvious: 'It is an extremely difficult thing to grasp. A l l o u r t h o u g h t s . . r e v e r i e s . perhaps in all of them. A s w e a r e . all o u r h o p e s . The more 'interior' a thing is. W e see t h e lips m o v i n g . fears. we live in visible h u m a n i t y . loves a n d h a t e s . . If t h e invisible side o f p e o p l e w e r e d i s c e r n e d a s easily a s the visible s i d e . All t h a t b e l o n g s t o o u r s c h e m i n g . v a c u i t i e s .

not directly accessible to us. more familiar. A plant has a 'world' of its own . This allimportant point will occupy us at some length in a later chapter.e. traveller or pilgrim wishes to explore them is his own affair. they have always claimed that. The progression from the wholly visible mineral to the largely invisible person can be taken as a pointer towards Levels of Being above man which would be totally invisible to our senses. (As a philosophical map-reader I have the duty to put these important matters on my map. the level of minerals. just as we can learn to 'see' into the invisibility of the persons around us. so that it can be seen where they belong and how they connect with Other. water. of inner coherence and strength. before all other definitions of it. 44 .) IV The degree of integration.e. directly accessible to our senses. W e d o n o t realise that w e are in a w o r l d o f invisible p e o p l e . W e d o n o t understand that life. i. Inanimate matter has no 'world'.a 'world' hmited to its modest biological needs. and there is 'inner space'. so we can develop abilities to 'sec' the totally invisible beings existing at levels above us. Whether or not any reader.W e d o n o t grasp that w e are invisible. is a drama of the visible and the invisible? There is the external world in which things are visible. light and possibly other influences . things.a bit of soil. i. Its total passivity is equivalent to the total emptiness of its world. except in the case of ourselves. is closely related to the kind of 'world' that exists for beings at different levels. We need not be surprised that most people throughout most of human history implicitly believed in the reality of this projection. just as there is total visibility at the other end of the scale. where things are invisible. air.

indeed. the greater and richer is his or her world. A person. poor. nasty. again.' There are no occult or unscientific assumptions behind this saying. Equally. richer and more wonderful is the world. What he will actually grasp depends on each person's own Level of Being. lives in a very poor world. although capax universi. it is asserted in traditional philosophy that man is capax universi. The Universe is what it is. the greater. as modern animal psychology studies have amply demonstrated.like curiosity . But I here is also something more . It has been said (by Gurdjieff to his pupils). capable of bringing the whole universe into his experience. but he who. measured and weighed. is incomparably greater and richer. If we again extrapolate 45 . brutish. The world of man. and short'.will inevitably 'attract' a miserable life. his 'world' will be one fitting Hobbes's description of the life of man as 'solitary. entirely fixed in the philosophy of materialistic scientism. for instance.The world of any one of the higher animals is incomparably greater and richer.to his biological needs. although still mainly determined by biological needs. The higher the Level of Being. 'Your Level of Being attracts your life. At a low Level of Being only a very poor world exists and only a very impoverished kind of life can be lived. his creature comforts or his accidental encounters . If he can recognise nothing but 'struggle for survival' and 'will to power' fortified by cunning. limits himself to its lowest sides . The 'higher' the person.which enlarges the animal's world beyond the narrow biological confines. if he sees it as nothing but an accidental collocation of atoms he will needs agree with Bertrand Russell that the only rational attitude is one of 'unyielding despair'. so poor that he will experience it as a meaningless wasteland unfit for human habitation. denying the reality of the 'invisibles' and confining his attention solely to what can be counted.

into consideration a similar picture emerges.6). At the highest imaginable Level of Being there would be the ''eternal now'. aware of everything. but this is not the purpose of this book.5. a n d t h e t h i n g s that therein are. a n d the things that therein are. omniscient . a n d t h e t h i n g s w h i c h a r e t h e r e i n . Something like this may be the meaning of this passage in Rev. Maybe he is interested in the question of 'final causes'. the more it embraces of what. Is it legitimate to explain or even to describe a given phenomenon in teleological terms.time . t h a t t h e r e s h o u l d be time n o longer. V An almost infinite number of further 'progressions' could be added to those already described. a n d t h e sea. and the future is made present through foresight (of which. The reader will be able to fill in whatever seems to him to be of special interest. If we take the 'fourth' dimension' . a n d the earth.'Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings. the 'broader'. For creatures endowed with consciousness there is time in the sense of experience. at lower Levels of Being. is past and future. w h o c r e a t e d h e a v e n . as it were.e. there is time only in the sense of duration. X. and no tone of them is forgotten before God' (Luke XII.beyond the human level. is the present. a n d s w o r e b y h i m t h a t l i v e t h for ever a n d e v e r . again.6: A n d the angel w h i c h I saw stand u p o n t h e sea a n d u p o n the e a r t h lifted u p h i s h a n d t o h e a v e n . as pursuing a purpose? It is ridiculous to answer such a question without reference to the Level of Being at which the . The higher the Level of Being. At the lowest level. but experience is confined to the present. except where the past is made present through memory (of one kind or another). there may be different kinds). i. we can understand why the Divine was considered not merely capax universi but actually in total possession of it.

and they therefore speak of man as a threefold being. To deny teleological action at the human level would be as foolish as to impute it at the level of inanimate matter.the living body (because an inanimate body is of no interest at all). Hence there is no reason to assume that traces or remnants of teleological action could not be found at the levels in between. therefore. All the four levels exist in the human being. finally. (corresponding to x). many teachings describe man as possessing four 'bodies'. such descriptions of man as a fourfold being become easily comprehensible. In some teachings. the physical body the etheric body the astral body the T or Ego or Self or Spirit (corresponding to m). With the rise of materialistic scientism. man.phenomenon is situated. (corresponding to y). consisting of body ( m + x ) .except as one of the many strange 47 . The four great Levels of Being can be likened to an inverted pyramid where each higher level comprises everything lower and is open to influences from everything higher. is taken as one . was represented as a being compounded of body and soul. can be described by the formula Man = m+x+y+z — mineral+life+consciousness+selfawareness. Not surprisingly. and (corresponding to z). soul (y) and Spirit (z). In the light of our understanding of the four great Levels of Being. even the souls disappeared from the description of man . m+x. namely. As people turned their interests increasingly to the visible world the distinction between soul and Spirit became more difficult to maintain and tended to be dropped altogether. as we have already seen. which.how could it exist when it could be neither weighed nor measured? .

there is no discernible limit or ceiling. no matter how far advanced. not at the highest level but with a potential that might indeed lead up to perfection. so man must be seen as nothing but a chaos of particles without purpose and meaning . indeed. does it make sense of \\11. magnetism has been accepted as such? The Universe was no longer seen as a great hierarchical structure or Chain of Being. was no longer seen as a cosmos. anguish and despair. a 48 .11 we can actually experience? This is a question everybody lias to decide for himself. say. the structure of the Universe). capable of suffering pain. Those who stand in awe and admiration.a rather unfortunate cosmic accident of no consequence whatsoever. of inanimate matter. horizontal extension. This is the most important insight that follows from the contemplation of the four great Levels of Being: at the level of man. will not be easily persuaded that there is only more or less . a meaningful even though mysterious creation. no matter how complex. in wonder and also in perplexity. and higher than the animals. but a chaos all the same (whether he likes it or not) .i. it was seen simply as an accidental collocation of atoms. to vertical scales and even discontinuities. If they then see man as higher than any arrangement. contemplating the four great Levels of Being.that is to say. which constitutes the difference between animal and man. traditionally understood as the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm (i. they will also see man as 'open-ended'. Why not accept the so-called 'soul' . is a power of unlimited potential.a bundle of surprising powers .e. and the only question is.as an epiphenomenon of matter just as.a sensitive chaos. Selfawareness.attributes of complex arrangements of atoms and molecules.e. They will find it impossible to close their minds to 'higher' or 'lower' . and man. If the great Cosmos is seen as nothing but a chaos of particles without purpose or meaning. This is the picture presented by modern materialistic icientism.

you must go beyond the merely human.power that not only makes man human. which means that. to become superhuman. to he properly human. 49 . even the need. but gives him I lie possibility. 'Homo non proprie humanus sed superhumanus esf. A s the scholastics used to say.

comprises the four great Levels of Being.4 Adaequatio I What enables man to know anything at all about the world around him? 'Knowing demands the organ fitted to the object'. But they can . to which we might add the statement by St Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) that 'knowledge comes about in so far as the object known is within the knower.' We have seen already that man. which defines knowledge as adaequatio rei et intellectus: the understanding of the knower must be adequate to the thing to be known. This is a very ancient idea and has usually been expressed by calling man a 'microcosm' which somehow 'corresponds' with the 'macrocosm' which is the world. He is a physico-chemical system. comes the famous saying: 'Never did eye see the sun unless it had first become sunlike. From Plotinus. AD 270).' John Smith the Platonist (1618-52) said: T h a t which enables us to know and understand aright in the things of God. Nothing can be known without there being an appropriate 'instrument' in the makeup of the knower.inanimate matter. like the rest of the world and. consciousness and self-awareness. there is therefore some degree of correspondence or 'connaturality' between the structure of man and the structure of the world. in a sense. he also possesses the invisible and mysterious powers of life. said Plotinus (d. This is the Great Truth of adaequatio (adequateness). some or all of which he can detect in many beings around him. must be a living principle of holiness within us'. and never can the soul have vision of the First Beauty unless itself be beautiful. again. Our five bodily senses make us 'adequate' to the lowest Level of Being .

like animals of the same species.supply nothing more than masses of sense-data. but because of a lack of adaequatio in the mind. Beethoven's musical abilities. even in deafness. it is therefore quite unrealistic to try to define and delimit the capabilities of 'man' as such . mere receivers of what happens to come along and to a large extent controlled by the mind. not because they are deaf. to 'make sense' of which we require abilities or capabilities of a different order. Some people are incapable of grasping and appreciating a given piece of music. and meaning. Without them. we should be unable to recognise form. an entire symphony on the strength of one hearing or one reading of the score. We may call them 'intellectual senses'. regularity.as if all human beings were much the same. and also retain in their memory. and thus incapable of recognising 51 . there is no symphony: there is nothing but a succession of more or less agreeable but altogether meaningless noises. As regards the bodily senses. the latter's mind is inadequate. no matter how often and how attentively they listen to it. and their keenness and reach are qualities of the mind itself. it lay in the mind. not to mention life. all healthy people possess a very similar endowment. rhythm. and the difference did not lie in the sense of hearing. For the former the symphony is as real as it was to the composer. harmony. pattern. While the body senses may be described as relatively passive. were incomparably greater than mine. The former's mind is adequate to the symphony. the music is grasped by intellectual powers. but no one could possibly overlook the fact that there are significant differences in the power and reach of people's minds. for the latter. while others are so weakly endowed that they cannot absorb it at all. the intellectual senses are the mind-in-action. The sense of hearing receives nothing more than a succession of notes. Some people possess these powers to such a degree that they can grasp. As regards the intellectual senses. consciousness and selfawareness.

the facts given to the eye are identical. Not the eye.the existence of the symphony. T o a n a n i m a l a b o o k is m e r e l y a c o l o u r e d s h a p e . . and in whatever condition we may find ourselves. at all times. but there are also non-physical facts which remain unnoticed unless the work of the senses is controlled and completed by certain 'higher' faculties of the mind. it is extremely difficult. o n l y t h e b o o k can m e a n m o r e . The same applies throughout the whole range of possible and actual human experiences. T o g o a s t e p h i g h e r . . between perception and interpretation. People say: 'Let the facts speak for themselves'. to use a term coined by the late Mr G. a n u n e d u c a t e d s a v a g e m a y r e g a r d a b o o k a s a series of m a r k s o n p a p e r . who gives the following illustration: T a k e a b o o k . f o r e x a m p l e . There are physical facts which the bodily senses pick u p . t h e b o o k m a y be a n expression of m e a n i n g . and as we are not entitled to assume that we are necessarily adequate to everything. can determine the 'grade of significance'. For every one of us. A n d t h e b o o k is a c o l o u r e d s h a p e . so we are not entitled to insist that something inaccessible to us has no existence at all and is nothing but a phantom of other people's imagination. t h e a n i m a l is n o t w r o n g . N. only the mind. they forget that the speech of facts is real only if it is heard and understood. x In all these cases the 'sense data' are the same. A n y h i g h e r significance a b o o k m a y h o l d lies a b o v e t h e level o f its t h o u g h t . o n a still h i g h e r level. M. T h i s is t h e b o o k o n a h i g h e r level o f significance t h a n t h e s a v a g e ' s . Tyrrell. only those facts and phenomena 'exist' for which we possess adaequatio. T h i s is t h e b o o k a s seen o n a h i g h e r level o f significance than the animal's. . a n d one which corresponds to the savage's level o f t h o u g h t . A g a i n it is n o t w r o n g . It is thought to be an easy matter to distinguish between fact and theory. O r finally. . Some of these non-physical facts represent 'grades of significance'. In truth. It m a y m e a n a series of l e t t e r s a r r a n g e d a c c o r d i n g t o c e r t a i n r u l e s . You see the full moon just above the horizon against the silhouettes of some .

for which some people are adequate while others are not. a n d e x p l a n a t i o n t o t h e m m e a n s s o l v i n g the puzzle o f these external r e l a t i o n s h i p s .and it appears to you as a disc as large as that of the sun. we 'see' not simply with our eyes but with a great part of our mental equipment as well. h a s fallen i n t o t h e h a n d s o f intelligent b e i n g s w h o k n o w n o t h i n g o f w h a t writing a n d printing m e a n . there are inevitably many things which some people can 'see' while others cannot. w h i c h for t h e m m e a n t h e principles g o v e r n i n g the order in w h i c h the letters are arranged . T h e y will think they h a v e d i s c o v e r e d the l a w s o f t h e b o o k w h e n they h a v e f o r m u l a t e d certain rules g o v e r n i n g t h e external relationships o f the letters. the result is not factual error but something much more serious: an inadequate and impoverished view of reality. even when you know this to be so. w e will s u p p o s e . Mr Tyrrell pursues his illustration further. according to Gregory. T h a t e a c h w o r d a n d e a c h s e n t e n c e expresses a m e a n i n g will never d a w n o n t h e m b e c a u s e their b a c k g r o u n d o f t h o u g h t is m a d e u p o f c o n c e p t s w h i c h deal o n l y w i t h external relationships. L. 3 51 .trees or buildings . is a difficult question to answer. In short. . When the level of the knower is not adequate to the level (or grade of significance) of the object of knowledge. T h e y try t o find o u t the 'laws' o f t h e b o o k . And yet. writes R.' This searching uses not only the sensory information but also other knowledge and experience. or. Gregory in Eye and Brain. What are the moon images actually received by the eye ? They are exactly the same in both cases. . as follows: 2 A b o o k . . and since this mental equipment varies greatly from person to person. b u t they are a c c u s t o m e d t o d e a l i n g with t h e external relationships o f things. . to put it differently. Their m e t h o d s will never reach the g r a d e [of significance] w h i c h c o n t a i n s t h e idea o f m e a n i n g s . your mind will not easily let you see the two discs as of equal size. 'Perception is not determined simply by the stimulus pattern'. 'rather it is a dynamic searching for the best interpretation of the available data. but the full moon straight above your head looks quite small. although just how far experience affects perception.

the Ancients used to say: to the world outside us there corresponds. All levels of significance up to the adequate level . are less and less widely available as we move up the scale. life only a thin film on the Earth. belong to every normal person. more exceptional. They were what we should call scientific materialists whose faith is that objective reality is limited to that which can be actually observed and who are ruled by a methodical aversion against the recognition of higher levels or grades of significance. with regard to which it is meaningful to speak of 'higher' and 'lower'. not by his intelligence. so below'. The level of significance to which an observer or investigator tries to attune himself is chosen. The facts themselves. in some fashion.Just as the world is an hierarchical structure. such as those needed for the perceiving and grasping of the more subtle aspects of reality. powers and other 'instruments' by which the human being perceives and gains knowledge of the world form an hierarchical structure of 'higher' and 'lower'. organs. but they are probably of much less importance than are differences in interests and in what Mr Tyrrell calls the 'background of thought'. 'As above. and self-awareness. such as seeing and also counting. consciousness. a world inside us. relatively rare. There are inequalities in the human endowment. than the lower levels . but by his faith. The intelligent beings of Mr Tyrrell's allegory lacked adaequatio with regard to the book because they based themselves on the assumption that the 'external relationships of the letters' were all that mattered.mineral matter is ubiquitous. do not carry a label indicating the appropriate level at which they ought to be considered. which he is going to observe.so it is with the abilities of people. the great exception . And just as the higher levels in the world are rarer. Nor does the choice of an inadequate level lead the intelligence into factual error or logical contradiction. so the senses. The lowest abilities. while the higher abilities.

I shall then be one of those of whom it has been said: 'They.i. does not just think: it thinks with ideas. It lies in what the Bible calls man's 'inward parts'.are equally factual. is needed . In fact. he also depends on the adequateness of his 'faith' or.that almost impossible feat of thought recoiling upon itself: almost impossible but not quite. In this respect he tends to be very much a child of his time and of the civilisation in which he has spent his formative years. most of which it simply adopts and takes over from surrounding society. an effort of self-awareness. to put it more conventionally. and hearing. neither do they understand. generally speaking. this is the power that makes man human and also capable of transcending his humanity. inward corresponds with 'higher' and outward corresponds with 'lower'. the observer depends not only on the adequateness of his own higher qualities. It is by an act of faith that I choose the level of my investigation. hence the saying 'Credo ut intelligam' I have faith so as to be able to understand. in the example of the book . As mentioned already. for the human mind. There is nothing more difficult than to become critically aware of the presuppositions of one's thought. when dealing with something representing a higher grade of significance or Level of Being than inanimate matter. Every thought can be scrutinised directly except the thought by which we scrutinise. and I rob myself of the very possibility of understanding. A special effort.e. up to the level of meaning. see not. equally logical. If I lack faith. of his fundamental presuppositions and basic assumptions. The 4 55 .. they hear not. equally objective. and consequently choose an inadequate level of significance for my investigation. but not equally real.' In short. no degree of 'objectivity' will ever save me from missing the point of the whole thing. Everything can be seen directly except the eye through which we see. seeing. perhaps 'developed' through learning and training.

and hearing. All this means that 'understanding with one's heart' is to him a meaningless collection of words. refuses to use it because he has made up his mind at nothing but atmospheric noises can be obtained from it. and to reject any interference from the 'powers' situated in the heart. He is like a man who. seeing.a 'faith' which makes it perfectly rational for him to place exclusive reliance on the bodily senses. they fail to 'understand with their heart'. its working would only be disl in bed and possibly be distorted if the 'heart' interfered in any way. and he sees in man nothing but a relatively highly evolved animal. he believes that life. Faith chooses the grade of significance or Level of Being at which the search for knowledge and understanding is to aim. From his point of view. although in possession of a radio receiver. to 'stay in the head'. Faith is not in conflict with reason. is fully adequate for dealing with inanimate matter. they hear not' the fault does not lie with the senses but with the inward parts . Indeed. which is situated in the head and not in the heart. when there is a case of 'they. he is quite right: the brain. He insists that truth can be discovered only by means of the brain. see not. the lowest of the four great levels of Being. situated in the head and supplied with data by the bodily senses. in other words. because his faith excludes the possibility of their existence.'for this people's heart is waxed gross'. Only through the 'heart' can contact be made with the higher grades of significance and Levels of Being. He has no belief in anything higher than man. consciousness and self-awareness are nothing but manifestations of complex arrangements of inanimate particles .senses are man's most outward instruments. For him. higher levels of reality simply do not exist. As a materialistic scientist. For anyone wedded to the materialistic scientism of the modern age it will be impossible to understand what this means. nor is it a substitute for reason. There is reasonable faith and 5 .

and that man can reach these higher levels provided he allows his reason to be guided by faith.also unreasonable faith. that there are Levels of Being above that of humanity. It d o e s not yet see the thing it believes. unless it is mere camouflage. like saying: 'I am not willing to decide whether [reverting to Mr Tyrrell's example] a book is merely a coloured shape. which enables it t o see that a thing is true even w h e n it d o e s n o t s e e the reason for it. its full m e a n i n g . 7 f7 . declare that the book of this world is not merely a coloured shape but an expression of meaning. that thou are neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. in different languages but with virtually one voice. No one has described man's possible journey to the truth more clearly than the Bishop of Hippo. .' It can hardly be taken as an unreasonable act of faith when people accept the testimony of prophets. it is a decision to treat the question of significance as insignificant. The faith of the agnostic is perhaps the most unreasonable of all. will be t o see that t h e attention is fastened o n truth. but it h a s a n e y e for it. So then because thou art luke-warm. Of c o u r s e faith d o e s not see truth clearly. I will spue thee out of my mouth. 'Believe that y o u m a y understand' (Crede ut intelligas). a series of letters arranged according to certain rules or an expression of meaning. To look for meaning and purpose at the level of inanimate matter would be as unreasonable an act of faith as an attempt to 'explain' the masterpieces of human genius as nothing but the outcome of economic interests or sexual frustrations. s o to speak. traditional wisdom has always treated the agnostic with withering contempt: 'I know thy works. but at least it k n o w s for certain that it d o e s not see it a n d that it is true n o n e the less. and neither cold nor hot. This p o s s e s s i o n t h r o u g h faith o f a h i d d e n but certain truth is the very thing w h i c h will impel the m i n d t o penetrate its c o n tent. a n d t o give the formula. a series of marks on paper. . because. St Augustine (AD 354430): 6 T h e first step forward .' Not surprisingly. sages and saints who.

by analysis. w h e n A u g u s t i n e s p e a k s o f understanding. Rumi (12071273). and open that brighter eye of our understandings. "which indeed all have. of grasping ideas. transformation. through which the truth can be seen: beyond this seeing there is neither the possibility of. but few make use of". also called 'the Eye of the Heart' or 'the Eye of the Soul'. which is seventyfold and of which these two sensible eyes are only the gleaners' . or dissection. h e a l w a y s has in m i n d the product o f a rational activity for w h i c h faith prepares the w a y . nor the need for. it purifies the heart. no one denies that we can see what another person means.We can see things with the light of the intellect which are invisible to our bodily senses. that other eye of the soul. sometimes even when he does not express himself accurately. A s far as St A u g u s t i n e is c o n c e r n e d . any further proof. things that go beyond mathematics and geometry? Again. it e n a b l e s r e a s o n t o arrive at a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f G o d ' s revelation. simplification. St Augustine insisted that 'our whole business in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen. Our everyday language is a constant witness to this power of seeing. It produces flashes of understanding. a n d s o a l l o w s r e a s o n t o profit from d i s c u s s i o n . N o one denies that mathematical and geometrical truths are 'seen' in this way. as the Buddhists say. says: 'For the outer sense alone perceives visible things and the eye of the heart alone sees the invisible. Can we see. Faith tells us what there is to understand. faith is the heart o f the matter.' Persia's greatest Sufi poet.' 9 10 11 58 . 1173). To prove a proposition means to give it a form.' The Scottish theologian. speaks of 'the eye of the heart. as the philosopher calls our intellectual faculty. with the light of the intellect. In short. which is quite different from the processes of thinking and forming opinions. 8 Faith opens 'the eye of truth'. Richard of Saint-Victor (d. while John Smith the Platonist advises: 'We must shut the eyes of sense.

c e r t a i n l y . t h e p e r c e p t i o n of o u r senses is g r e a t l y i n c r e a s e d . for n o o n e c a n k n o w himself h e t u r n e d inwards .' says the Buddha. o f o n e ' s invisibility. h a v i n g a p p r o v e d .'' The process of mobilising the various powers possessed by man. h e e x a m i n e s t h e sense of the things r e m e m b e r e d . h e receives t h e d o c t r i n e . of developing the instrument capable of seeing and thus understanding the truth that does not merely inform the mind but liberates the soul.The power of the 'eye of the heart'. listening. h e m e n t a l l y realises t h e h i g h e s t t r u t h itself a n d . The creation of the world begins in man himself. is vastly superior to the power of thought. ('And ye shall know the truth. organically. the things a r e a p p r o v e d of. T h i s p e r c e p t i o n of t r u t h is n o t a m a t t e r o f s e n s e p e r c e p t i o n . . b y c o m p a r i s o n . he sees. . is t h e b e g i n n i n g o f light. I n n e r p e r c e p t i o n of oneself. 'Recognising the poverty of philosophical opinions. moved by confidence. d a r k n e s s . d o e s o n e a t t a i n perfect k n o w l e d g e . a gradual unfolding. I n n e r s p a c e a p p e a r s . a t t a i n s u p r e m e k n o w l e d g e all a t o n c e . h e p o n d e r s . p e n e t r a t i n g it b y m e a n s of w i s d o m . as it were. a n d eagerly training himself. I n w h a t m a n n e r ? A m a n comes.'not adhering to any of them. is described in a Buddhist text as follows: 12 O n e c a n n o t . from e x a m i n i n g the sense. h e l i s t e n s . having j o i n e d . p o n d e r i n g .32. seeking the truth. This struggle 59 . 13 This is the process of gaining adaequatio. d e s i r e is b o r n . having come. T h e p a t h o f s e l f . d i s t i n c t f r o m t h a t o f o u t e r p e r c e p t i o n . h e r e m e m b e r s i t . I s a y . it may be of value if I quote a contemporary author.k n o w l e d g e h a s t h i s a i m in view. A t first all is d a r k n e s s : t h e n light a p p e a r s a n d is s e p a r a t e d f r o m t h e d a r k n e s s . he joins. and the truth shall make you free' . a gradual action. gradually and.John VIII. By this light w e u n d e r s t a n d a f o r m o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s t o w h i c h o u r o r d i n a r y c o n s c i o u s n e s s is. he eagerly trains himself. h a v i n g r e c e i v e d t h e d o c t r i n e . which produces insight. the late Dr Maurice Nicoll: A w o r l d o f inward p e r c e p t i o n t h e n b e g i n s t o o p e n o u t . o n l y by a gradual training. b u t of t h e p e r c e p t i o n of t h e t r u t h of ' i d e a s ' t h r o u g h w h i c h .) As these matters have become unfamiliar in the modern world. T h i s light h a s c o n s t a n t l y b e e n e q u a t e d w i t h t r u t h a n d f r e e d o m . which produces opinions. / saw.

When they met again. and the world of ideas lies within us. we can say that experience. a n d n o t experience. what they c o u l d be. the other received a pat of encouragement. yielding experience. The truth of ideas cannot be seen by the senses but only by that special instrument sometimes referred to as 'the eye of the heart' which. in a mysterious way. For our present purposes it is necessary simply to recognise that sense data alone do not produce insight or understanding of any kind. having been designed solely for registering the outer differences between various existing things. a n d w h i c h w e think o f a s the entire history o f t h e w o r l d . and the results of the senses as experience. There is a story of two monks who were passionate smokers and tried to settle among themselves the question of whether it was permissible to smoke while praying. appearance. do not put us into touch with the higher grades of significance and the higher Levels of Being existing in the world around u s : they are not adequate for such a purpose. slightly suspicious.m a r k s t h e c o m m e n c e m e n t o f that inner d e v e l o p m e n t o f m a n w h i c h h a s b e e n written a b o u t in m a n y different w a y s (yet really always in t h e s a m e w a y ) t h r o u g h o u t that small part o f T i m e w h o s e literature b e l o n g s t o u s . has the power of recognising truth when confronted with it. the first one. inquired of the second: 'What fin . Our bodily senses. As they could not come to a conclusion they decided to ask their respective superiors. tells us what s u c h things m e a n . Ideas produce insight and understanding. and not their inner meanings. s u c h as s t o n e s . If we describe the results of this power as illumination. a n d p e o p l e . a n d c h a n g e s o f sensible things. while i l l u m i n a t i o n . 1 4 We shall take a closer look at the process of 'turning inward' in a later chapter. and what they perhaps o u g h t t o be be. One of them got into deep trouble with his abbot. a n d n o t illumination. animals. tells us a b o u t t h e existence. plants.

' While our inner senses infallibly see the profound difference between 'praying while smoking' and 'smoking while praying'.either because they are lacking or because an absence of faith leaves them unutilised . which produces the effect that nothing of any higher significance or Level of Being can be known by him. When these higher abilities are not brought into action . 61 .(lid you actually ask' ? and received the answer: 'I asked whether it was permissible to pray while smoking.there is a lack of adaequatio on the part of (he knower. Higher grades of significance and Levels of Being cannot be recognised without faith and the help of the higher abilities of the inner man. to our outer senses there is no difference at all.

but cannot register the 'inwardness' of things and such fundamental invisible powers as life consciousness and self-awareness. Who could see. an organ more inward and that means 'higher'.5 Adaequatio II i The Great Truth of adaequatio affirms that nothing ca be perceived without an appropriate organ of per ception and nothing can be understood without an ap propriate organ of understanding.) The answer to the question. centred mainly in the solar plexus. which resides. the unconscious vegetative processes and feelings of our living body. 'What are man's instruments by which to know the world outside him?' is 62 . or texture. They register the visible world. man's primary instruments. in the heart region. are his five senses. in a sense that is both symbolical and also verifiable by physical experience. (Many people are so little aware of their power of self-awareness that they are incapable of recognising this power in other human beings and therefore take them as nothing but 'higher animals'. or smell And yet. than the senses. centred mainly in the head. we must have an organ of perception to do so. and we recognise 'self-awareness' with our own self-awareness. Similarly. as mentioned before. hear touch. taste or smell life as such? It has no shape or colour. reinforced and extended by a great array of ingenious apparatus. We shall see later that this organ is identical with the life inside ourselves. no specific sound. For cognition at the mineral level. we recognise 'consciousness' directly with our own consciousness. the innermost and therefore 'highest' centre of the human being. or taste. as we are able to recognise 'life'.

If he persuades himself that the only 'data' worth having are those delivered by his five senses. but also of the intelligence of his body: his fingertips know things that his thinking knows nothing about. But every craftsman knows that his power of knowing consists not only of the thinking in his head.I think and thus I know I exist.his living body. he said. 'by which we can attain the highest degree of 1 63 . how then can it be explained that such a narrowing has taken place? To answer this question. He was not a man lacking self-confidence.therefore quite inescapably this: 'Everything he has got . he restricts his knowing to that Level of Being for which these instruments are adequate. we are inclined to believe that we know even of our existence only through our headcentred thinking . meaningless. and this means mainly to the level of inanimate matter. Surely. colourless and non-stereoscopic. if the scientific picture of the universe is the result of the use only of the sense of sight. And this raises a most important question. inhospitable mechanism.' If this is true (as it well may be). we can hardly expect that picture to show more than an abstract. all our knowledge of the universe could have been reached by visual sensation alone . restricted to the use of 'a single. Descartes. nobody wishes to obtain this effect.'cogito ergo sum' . the whole man is one instrument.in fact by the simplest form of visual sensation.' It may even be misleading to say that man has many instruments of cognition. in fact. The Great Truth of adaequatio teaches us that restriction in the use of instruments of cognition has the inevitable effect of narrowing and impoverishing reality. 'The true principles'. since. just as Pascal (1623-62) knew that 'the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing about. colour-blind eye'. and that a 'data processing unit' called the brain is there to deal with them. It was Sir Arthur Eddington who said: 'Ideally.' Since Descartes. his mind and his self-aware Spirit. we have to turn again to the father of the modern development.

. adjustments or adaptations coming from the observer's mind.' So Descartes claims to lay the foundations of 'the admirable science'. And what. The sense of sight. but this is not the point. being the lowest. highlighted by Sir Arthur Eddington. he has never had "the certain knowledge of anything" . in the end. is the easiest to grasp. I said earlier that it is often extremely difficult to get at bare facts unmingled with any thoughts.e. easy to check. the simplest. are those I have put in this book . indubitable. the most superficial. is equally available to every normal person. virtually untainted by any subjectivity of the observer. Needless to say. . to understand the significance of such data requires some of the higher. . most outward and most superficial (i.wisdom. but we fail to attain knowledge of the object as a whole: only the 'lowest'. easy to communicate. which constitutes the sovereign good of human life. and which can be most directly represented". and therefore rarer. surface-bound) of man's instruments of cognition. The point is that once a theory has been advanced . which is built from 'ideas easiest to grasp. and so is the ability to count. We attain objectivity. aspects of 2 3 64 . But now he reaches manhood. available to anyone: precise. . faculties of the mind. the simplest. Knowledge obtainable from 'pointer readings' is therefore 'public knowledge'. above all. restricted to the use of a single colour-blind eye.perhaps by a man of genius anyone who takes the necessary trouble can 'verify it'. we can indeed eliminate subjectivity and attain objectivity. . he becomes master of himself and capable of adjusting everything to the level of reason. Man has . But what can the mind add to pointer readings made by a single colour-blind eye? What can it add to counting? Restricting ourselves to this mode of observation. and can be most directly represented? Precisely the 'pointer readings' against a quantitative scale. . Yet one restriction entails another. had many opinions so far.

the importance of quantity recedes while that of quality gains. 1629-95) . . Not surprisingly. T h e l o n g chains o f perfectly simple a n d easy r e a s o n w h i c h g e o m e t e r s are acc u s t o m e d t o e m p l o y in order t o arrive at their m o s t difficult d e m o n s t r a t i o n s . a wasteland in which man is a quaint cosmic accident signifying nothing. significant. the purpose of the 65 . The purpose of the former was the enlightenment of the person and his 'liberation'. The change of Western man's interest from 'the slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things' (Thomas Aquinas) to mathematically precise knowledge of the lesser things . there c a n b e n o n e s o r e m o t e that they m a y n o t be reached. Descartes wrote: It is t h e m a t h e m a t i c i a n s a l o n e w h o h a v e b e e n able t o find d e m o n s t r a t i o n s .the object are accessible to the instruments we employ everything that makes the object humanly interesting.can deal only with factors that can be expressed as interrelated quantities. the world picture resulting from this methodology of observation is 'the abomination of desolation'. . h a d given m e r e a s o n t o believe that all things w h i c h fall under the k n o w l e d g e o f m a n succeed e a c h other in the s a m e w a y a n d that . . 4 It is obvious that a mathematical model of the world which is what Descartes was dreaming about . the very thing that matters most. . It is equally obvious that (while pure quantity is not possible in manifestation) the quantitative factor is of preponderant weight only at the lowest Level of Being. I did not d o u b t that I m u s t start with the s a m e things that they have considered . and the price of mathematical model-building is the loss of the qualitative factor. As we move up the Chain of Being.'there being nothing in the world the knowledge of which would be more desirable or more useful' (Christian Huygens.marks a change from what we may call 'science for understanding' to 'science for manipulation'. . o r s o h i d d e n that they m a y n o t be discovered. meaningful. . escapes us.

or is subservient t o w i s d o m .latter is power: 'Knowledge itself is power' said Francis Bacon (1561-1626). 'Science for understanding' has often been called 'wisdom'. When 'science for manipulation' is subordinated to wisdom. and no harm can come of it. and Descartes promised men to become 'masters and possessors of nature'. the knowledge of which would bring both happiness and salvation. This has been the history of Western thought since Descartes. expending on scientific work. But it cannot be so subordinated when wisdom disappears because people cease to be interested in its pursuit. H e n c e the d o u b l e d e s i g n a t i o n w e m a y give science a c c o r d i n g as it is subservient t o appetite. it is a most valuable tool. 'science for manipulation' almost inevitably tends to advance from the manipulation of nature to that of people. by reason o f its intelligibility a l o n e . T h e object o f w i s d o m is s u c h that. In its further development. the new science tends to look upon it as 66 .'Wisdom'. The old science looked upon nature a s (rod's handiwork and man's mother. a tendency that has meanwhile developed to such lengths that the enhancement of political and economic power is now generally taken as the first purpose of. i. makes this distinction. n o evil u s e c a n be m a d e o f it. as it is w h e n e v e r it c h o o s e s itself as its e n d . o w i n g t o its very materiality. or 'science for understanding' was primarily directed 'towards the sovereign good'.e.e. the True. 5 These points are of crucial importance. while the name of 'science' remained reserved for what I call 'science for manipulation'. the Good and the Beautiful. The new science was directed mainly towards material power. The old science . and Etienne Gilson paraphrases him as follows: T h e real difference w h i c h sets t h e o n e against the other derives f r o m the nature o f their objects. among many others. i. and main justification for. St Augustine. 'science for understanding'. the object o f science is such that it is in c o n s t a n t d a n g e r o f falling i n t o the clutches o f cupidity. as it is w h e n e v e r it is directed t o w a r d s t h e s o v e r e i g n g o o d .

a social animal. simply because the latter is not describable in terms to which everybody is adequate. It is claimed that only such knowledge can be termed 'scientific' and 'objective' as is open to public verification or falsification by anybody who takes the necessary trouble. when correctly described. for all knowledge is 'subjective' inasmuch as it cannot exist otherwise than in the mind of a human subject. everybody can recognise it.'objectively'. and the distinction between 'scientific' and 'unscientific' knowledge is question-begging. all the rest is dismissed as 'unscientific' and 'subjective'. This type of knowledge is therefore public. The 'science for understanding' saw man as made in the image of God. is a type of knowledge that can be used by bringing into play only such powers as are possessed by everybody except the severely handicapped. The progressive elimination of 'science for under67 . so that. without any need to understand why a formula works: to know that it does work is enough for practical and manipulative purposes. The use of these terms in this manner is a grave abuse. The greatest and most influential difference. a higher animal. mainly pointer reading and counting. The 'science for manipulation'. Wisdom is a type of knowledge that can be used only by bringing into play the highest and noblest powers of the mind.an adversary to be conquered or a quarry to be exploited. and an object for study by the same methods by which other phenomena of this world were to be studied .e. and hence 'in charge' of the world. relates to the attitude of science to man. inevitably. sees man as nothing but an accidental product of evolution. however. by contrast. 'science for manipulation'. The public and 'democratic' availability of this type of knowledge cannot be attained by knowledge relating to the higher Levels of Being. the crowning glory of creation. the only valid question about knowledge being that of its truth. because noblesse oblige. it is describable in terms of general validity. i.

68 . Second. People within it will progressively lose health and happiness. atrophy and even disappear altogether. As I have said in another context.in Western civilisation turns the rapid and ever accelerating accumulation of 'knowledge for manipulation' into a most serious threat. Since the findings of science. the process is self-reinforcing: faith.or 'wisdom' . The steadily advancing concentration of man's scientific interest on 'sciences of manipulation' has at least three very serious consequences. and lose the courage as well as the inclination to consult the 'wisdom tradition of mankind' and to profit from it. First. a civilisation will necessarily and inescapably sink ever more deeply into anguish. on account of its methodical restriction and its systematic disregard of higher levels. the methodical restriction of scientific efforts to the most external and material aspects of the Universe makes the world look so empty and meaningless that even those people who see the value and necessity of a 'science of understanding' cannot escape the hypnotic power of the allegedly scientific picture presented to them. no matter how high may be their standard of living or how successful may be their 'health service' in prolonging their lives. is seen as opposing and rejecting the intellect and therefore is itself rejected.standing' . never contain any evidence of the existence of such higher levels. and further developments of our cleverness can be of no benefit whatever. the higher powers of man. Thus all roads to recovery are barred. 'we are now far too clever to be able to survive without wisdom'. It is nothing more or less than a matter of 'man cannot live by bread alone'. Third. despair and lack of freedom. no longer being brought into play to produce the knowledge of wisdom. instead of being taken as a guide leading the intellect to an understanding of the higher levels. in the absence of sustained study of such 'unscientific' questions as 'What is the meaning and purpose of man's existence?' 'What is good and what is evil?' and 'What are man's absolute rights and duties?'.

While wealth may still be accumulating. The perfections of this type of science are purely practical . without any ideas or concepts that are not strictly necessary ('Occam's razor'). independent of the character and interests of the operator. measurable. it gives power to anyone who manages to get hold of it. it is correct to say that the goal of knowledge is prediction and control. take such and such steps. For successful action. recordable. all problems that society or individuals are called upon to tackle become insoluble. (Not surprisingly. At the highest level.e. repeatable. 'If you want to achieve this or that.the proof of the pudding being in the eating. and the instructions should be precise. therefore. so as to be able to select the course most suitable for our purposes. there would be 'knowledge for understanding' in its purest form. Such knowledge is 'public' in the sense that it can be used even by evil men for nefarious purposes. The test of a recipe is purely pragmatic . therefore. there would be 'knowledge for manipulation'. i. many attempts are always being made to keep parts of this 'public' knowledge secret!) 69 . while unsolved and seemingly insoluble problems accumulate. Understanding is required to decide what to d o . at the lowest.As a result. At this level. the quality of man declines. leaving as little as possible to the judgment of the operator. The pursuit of science is a matter of taking stock and formulating recipes for action. we need to know what will be the results of alternative courses of action.' The sentence should be as concise as possible.the objective. the help of 'knowledge for manipulation' is needed to act effectively in the material world. II In the ideal case. Every recipe is a conditional sentence of the type. the structure of a man's knowledge would match the structure of reality. Efforts become ever more frantic.

but in the nature of freedom. Anything predictable can be so only on account of its 'fixed nature'. What are his highest values ? A man's highest values are reached when he claims that something is a good in itself. the less is the fixity and the greater the plasticity of nature. XIX. but 'knowledge for understanding' is indispensable. The reason for this unpredictability does not lie in a lack of adaequatio on the part of the investigator. In the face of freedom. Human beings are highly predictable. The hierarchy of his knowledge has been decaptiated. once and for all. 'knowledge for manipulation' is impossible. less predictable as living bodies. as physicochemical systems. requiring no justification in terms of any higher good.physics. The almost complete disappearance of the latter from Western civilisation is due to nothing but the systematic neglect of traditional wisdom. the very ideas of prediction and control become increasingly objectionable and even absurd. his will is paralysed because he has lost any grounds on which to base a hierarchy of values. they can in fact be completed and finalised. as is claimed to be the case with mechanics. The sciences of inanimate matter . but the freedom of action of a hydrogen atom is exceedingly limited. All he seeks is understanding. much less so as conscious beings and hardly at all as selfaware persons.can therefore achieve virtually perfect powers of prediction. The result of the lopsided development of the last three hundred years is that Western man is rich in means and poor in ends.At the higher levels. Modern society prides itself on its 'pluralism'. 'With God all things are possible' (Matt. chemistry and astronomy . He would be shocked by predictabilities. which means that a large 70 . The theologian who strives to obtain knowledge of Levels of Being above the human does not for a moment think of prediction. of which the West has as rich a store as any other part of mankind.26). and the higher the Level of Being. control or manipulation.

unless w e resolutely exorcise these befuddled n o t i o n s w h o s e influence o n m o d e r n life is b e c o m i n g appalling .' comments Etienne Gilson. there is a special p u n i s h m e n t for this sort o f s i n . combine scientific knowledge and social generosity with a complete lack of philosophical culture'. all competing with one another and claiming first priority. they ruthlessly use the prestige of 'science for manipulation' 7 71 . . m e n h a v e to d i e . T h e r e are blind E v o l u t i o n . It would be impossible to compile a complete list. . In truth. no supreme good or value.number of things are admissible as 'good in themselves'. a n d others w h i c h it is m o r e a d v i s a b l e n o t t o n a m e . o u r m o d e r n world is 'full o f g o d s ' . rapidity of change. and not someone else's . a n d political m y t h o l o g y . the modern world. If something that requires no justification may be called an 'absolute'. .but also knowledge for its own sake. . number of hospitals. Just like the w o r l d o f T h a l e s a n d o f P l a t o . in terms of which everything else needs to justify itself. 'In the Inferno of the world of knowledge. etc. . which claims that everything is relative. The modern world is full of people whom Gilson describes as 'pseudo-agnostics who . all to be accorded first priority. t o d a y . speed of movement. clear-sighted O r t h o genesis. 6 When there are so many gods. Not only power and wealth are treated as good in themselves provided they are mine. F o r w h e n g o d s fight a m o n g themselves. W h y unnecessarily hurt the feelings o f m e n w h o . as ends rather than means to an end. render t h e m a cult ? It is h o w e v e r important for us to realise that m a n k i n d is d o o m e d t o live m o r e a n d m o r e under the spell o f a n e w scientific. it is a relapse i n t o m y t h o l o g y . none of these sacred cows is a genuine end: they are all means parading as ends. and there is no supreme god. quantity of education. . social. They are all of equal rank. and we shall not attempt it here. b e n e v o l e n t Progress. size of market. does in fact worship a very large number of 'absolutes'. A w o r l d w h i c h has lost the Christian G o d c a n n o t but resemble a world which h a d n o t yet f o u n d h i m . society cannot but drift into chaos.

as indeed faith is seen traditionally as a matter of the will. but in themselves indifferent ? H o w c a n y o u r p u r e intellect d e c i d e ? If y o u r heart d o e s n o t want a w o r l d 72 . as the Buddhists have it.' However that may be. the highest faculties are never brought into play. Whether tradition speaks the truth or not cannot be decided by any 'science for manipulation': it can be decided only by the highest faculties of man that are adequate to the creation of a 'science for understanding'. If the very possibility of the latter is systematically denied. 'hard to obtain'. they atrophy. Are our moral preferences true or false.redeveloping . a great chance and privilege. a life that affords unique opportunities for development. missing the very purpose of human life on earth. for each of us. as in archery.to discourage people from trying to restore wholeness to the edifice of human knowledge by developing . 'It can be primarily a safety philosophy. William James was under no illusion on the point that this matter. and the very possibility of first understanding and then fulfilling the purpose of life disappears. a kind of self-cloistering. a complicated way of avoiding anxiety and upsetting problems. a security system. Is it fear that motivates them ? Abraham Maslow suggests that the pursuit of science is often a defence. m a k i n g things g o o d or bad for us. What could be the meaning of sin anyhow ? Tradition says it means 'missing the mark'. and it is not our task and purpose to study the psychology of scientists.a 'science for understanding'. there is undoubtedly also an urgent desire to escape from any traditional notions of human duties. is primarily a question of our will . responsibilities or obligations the neglect of which may be sinful. there is hardly a concept more unacceptable to it than the idea of sin. In the extreme instance it can be a way of avoiding life. 8 T h e question o f h a v i n g moral beliefs at all o r n o t h a v i n g t h e m . or are they o n l y o d d biological p h e n o m e n a . In spite of the modern world's chaos and its suffering. is decided by o u r will.

M e p h i s t o p h e l i a n scepticism. 73 . But it is not at all sceptical about scepticism. y o u r h e a d will assuredly never m a k e y o u believe in o n e . will satisfy the head's play-instincts m u c h better than a n y rigorous idealism c a n . indeed. which demands hardly anything.o f m o r a l reality. 9 The modern world tends to be sceptical about everything that demands man's higher faculties.

than it actually is. as far as we are concerned. rich. It follows from this truth that any systematic neglect or restriction in the use of our organs of cognition must inevitably have the effect of making the world appear less meaningful. or if we fail to use it. We have seen that the modern sciences. If we do not have the requisite organ or instrument. while the opposite is equally true: the use of organs of cognition which for one reason or another normally lie dormant.. new riches.FIELD ONE The first landmark we have chosen for the construction of our philosophical map and guidebook is the hierarchic structure of the world . for we cannot experience any part or facet of the world unless we possess and use an organ or instrument through which we can receive what is being offered. have indeed restricted the use of the human instruments of cognition in a somewhat extreme way: according to some scientific interpreters. enables us to discover new meaning. to observations by colour74 .four great Levels of Being where the higher level always 'comprehends' the levels below it. abilities.facets of the world that had previously been inaccessible to us.similar in the sense of 'corresponding'. etc.6 The Four Fields of Knowledge . in a determined effort to attain objectivity and precision. The second landmark is the similar structure of human senses. This is the great truth of adaequatio. cognitive powers . new interest . we are not adequate to this particular part or facet of the world with the result that. and their systematic development and perfection. it simply does not exist. interesting.

The four questions that lead to these fields of knowledge may be put like this: (1) What is really going on in my own inner world? (2) What is going on in the inner world of other beings? 75 . what methods would need to be applied to obtain the full picture? It has often been observed that for every one of us reality splits into two parts: here is I .inner (2) the world (you) inner (3) I . and there is everything else. From these two pairs T and 'the World' 'Outer Appearance' and 'Inner Experience' we obtain four 'combinations' which we can indicate thus: (1) I . were really nothing other than atoms in somewhat complex arrangements. We have also had occasion to observe another duality: there are visibilities and invisibilities or. Inner experiences unquestionably exist. We shall now have to pursue this matter a little further.outer (4) the world (you) outer. including human beings. as against the former.blind. that of inanimate matter. the world. including you. These are the four fields of knowledge. If the current methodology produces an incomplete. as we move up the Great Chain of Being. The latter become relatively more and more important. we might say: outer appearances and inner experiences. but they cannot be observed by our ordinary senses. Such a methodology would necessarily produce a picture of the world virtually confined to the lowest level of manifestation. non-stereoscopic vision against quantitative scales. and would tend to suggest that the higher Levels of Being. each of which is of great interest and importance to every one of us. one-sided and grossly impoverished picture.

and what I look like in your eyes. would be ridiculous. how we come to know and understand what is going on inside other beings (field 2) and what we ourselves are from the outside. to be curious about that which is not my concern. that is to say. what gives me joy. I can directly feel what I feel like.what. my feelings.' Let us follow this example and start with field of knowledge (1) .field (1) and field (4).which are not directly accessible to us. and also vital questions that can be posed. while I am still in ignorance of my own self. Socrates (in Plato's Phaedrus) says: 'I must first know myself. simply as an object of observation. but what it feels like to be you. what gives me pain ? What strengthens me and what weakens me? Where do I control life and where does life control me? Am I in control of my mind.e. i.(3) What do I look like in the eyes of other beings ? (4) What do I actually observe in the world around me? To simplify in an extreme manner we might say: (1) (2) (3) (4) = = = = What What What What do do do do I feel like? you feel like? I look like? you look like? (The numbering of these four questions. as the Delphian inscription says. How we obtain knowledge of the other two fields . 76 . and I can directly see what you look like. the first point to make about these four fields of knowledge is that we have direct access to only two of them .) Now. as one being among countless other beings (field 3): how we enter these two fields of knowledge is indeed one of the most interesting. really is going on inside myself. I do not know either. I cannot directly know. is of course quite arbitrary.(2) and (3) . and consequently of the four fields of knowledge.

. act as d o e s the creator o f a statue that is t o be m a d e beautiful. s p i n y o u r airy fables a b o u t m o o n or s u n o r the other objects in t h e s k y and in the universe s o far rem o v e d from us and s o varied in their natures. a n d the structure a n d d i s p o s i t i o n s o f all m a n k i n d .can I do what I want to do? What is the value of this inner knowledge for the conduct of my life ? Before we go into any details we should take cognisance of the fact that the above-quoted statement from Plato's Phaedrus can be matched by similar statements from all parts of the world and all times. h e s m o o t h e s there. I shall confine myself to taking a few from the collection made by Mr Whittall N. until a lovely face has g r o w n u p o n his w o r k . but didst u n d e r s t a n d the c o u r s e o f the h e a v e n s a n d o f all the planets a n d stars. than if t h o u didst n o t k n o w thyself. . If t h o u k n o w e s t thyself well. A whole book could be filled with relevant quotations. S o d o y o u a l s o : . w e m a y perhaps believe y o u w h e n y o u h o l d forth o n other s u b j e c t s . After that. AD 1350): T h o r o u g h l y t o k n o w oneself. Perry. he m a k e s this line lighter. who was one of the most knowledgeable men of his time and foremost in knowing 'the virtue of all herbs'? M e n d o n o t k n o w t h e m s e l v e s . a n d . is a b o v e all art. t h o u art better a n d m o r e praiseworthy before G o d . 1 Philo the Jew (late first century BC) : F o r pray d o n o t . . a n d therefore they d o not 77 . A n d if y o u d o n o t find yourself beautiful yet. . . Theologia Germanica (c. but before y o u establish w h o y o u yourselves are. And what did Paracelsus (1493 7—1541) say. until y o u have scrutinised a n d c o m e t o k n o w y o u r s e l v e s . never c e a s e chiselling y o u r s t a t u e . Plotinus (d. for it is the highest art. AD 270): W i t h d r a w i n t o yourself a n d l o o k . this other purer. . he c u t s a w a y here. d o n o t think that y o u will ever b e c o m e c a p a b l e o f a c t i n g as j u d g e s o r trustworthy witnesses in t h e other matters. in s u c h matters. a l s o the virtue o f all herbs. hadst all t h e skill o f all w h o are in h e a v e n a n d o n earth. a l s o t h e nature o f all beasts.

understand t h e things o f their inner w o r l d . From India.k n o w t h y s e l f . either t o d e v e l o p further. . sir.' And from China: the Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu (c. 'Learn t o k n o w thyself. by his own efforts and devices. o r t o live a n d die such as h e w a s b o r n . E a c h m a n h a s t h e essence o f G o d a n d all t h e w i s d o m a n d p o w e r o f the w o r l d (germinally) in himself. Azid ibn Muhammad alNasafi (seventh-eighth century AD) : W h e n Ali a s k e d M o h a m m a d . From the world of Islam. a b o v e all other strifes. particularly Measure for Measure: I pray y o u . 2 Finally. a n d h e w h o d o e s n o t find that w h i c h is in h i m c a n n o t truly say that he d o e s n o t p o s s e s s it. that n a t u r e d e v e l o p s h i m o n l y u p t o a certain p o i n t and then leaves h i m . who states his 'fundamental idea' as follows: . Ouspensky (1878-1947). that m a n a s w e k n o w h i m is not a completed being. D . P. ' W h a t a m I t o d o that I m a y n o t w a s t e m y t i m e ? ' t h e Prophet a n s w e r e d . . let us listen to a twentieth-century writer. H e w h o k n o w s himself is enlightened. 604531 BC): H e w h o k n o w s o t h e r s is w i s e . Swami Ramdas (1886-1963): 'Seek within . Many of Shakespeare's plays are entirely about the process of gaining self-knowledge. but o n l y that h e w a s n o t c a p a b l e o f successfully s e e k i n g for it. o r t o degenerate a n d l o s e capacity for d e v e l o p m e n t . c o n t e n d e d especially t o k n o w himself. h e p o s s e s s e s o n e k i n d o f k n o w l e d g e as m u c h as a n o t h e r . o f w h a t disposition w a s t h e d u k e ? O n e that. these secret a n d s u b l i m e h i n t s c o m e t o us wafted f r o m the breath o f Rishis t h r o u g h the dust o f ages. 78 .

in its most essential features a forgotten science. and. and cannot develop by themselves? The modern world knows little of all this.E v o l u t i o n o f m a n . It requires an inner commitment. perhaps. . and there is something heroic about any com4 5 79 . Psychology is. This is quite wrong. the traditional teachings. most of which are in the form of mythology. which saw people as 'pilgrims' and 'wayfarers' on this earth who could reach the summit of a mountain of'salvation'. will m e a n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f certain inner qualities a n d features w h i c h usually remain u n d e v e l o p e d . but with normal people who were capable of becoming. the Buddha's teaching is called 'The Middle Way'. As Ouspensky says. and indeed destined to become. the Way. 'Psychology is sometimes called a new science.' These 'most essential features' had presented themselves primarily in religious teachings.'enlightenment' or 'liberation'. even though it produces more psychological theories and literature than any previous age had done. which goes beyond all pairs of opposites. Traditional psychology.' Only a perfectly clean instrument can obtain a perfectly clear picture. Virtue is but the pedagogical prelude to the culminating insight. supernormal. and their disappearance is largely accounted for by the decline of religions during the last few centuries. which demands a degree of heroism and in any case a readiness occasionally to turn one's back on the petty preoccupations of everyday life. unfortunately. and Jesus Christ Himself declares: 'I am the Way. the Chinese teaching of Taoism is named after tao. As Joseph Campbell shows in his wonderful study of The Hew with a Thousand Faces. . the oldest science. do 'not hold as [their] greatest hero the merely virtuous man.. It should not be thought that the 'journey into the interior' is only for heroes.' It is the pilgrim's task to undertake a journey into the interior. was not primarily concerned with sick people who had to be made 'normal'. Many of the great traditions have the idea of'the way' at their very centre.

something that does not capture me but is to be captured by me. My attention is often or even most of the time captured by outside forces which I may or may not have chosen myself . worries. but it is a heroism within everybody's capability.sounds. the exploration and study of the inner man. N o subject could be of greater interest. Ernest Wood talks about a state 80 .or else by forces inside myself .expectations. i. or between living and 'being lived'. we identified as being closely connected with self-awareness. . however. It is obvious that the study of this 'first field of knowledge' demands the whole person. When it is so captured. and quite freely and deliberately direct my attention to something entirely of my own choosing. In his book on Yoga.e. fears. colours.which accounted for man's superiority over the animals. and the 'additional power' . colour-blind observer certainly would not get very far. I am not doing things: they simply happen. Now. A one-eyed. and no subject suffers more neglect. or perhaps I should say to the power of directing attention. self-awareness is closely related to the power of attention. the possibility that I might take the matter in hand. no subject occupies a more central place in all traditional teachings. etc. one's interior world. I function very much like a machine. interests.mitment to the unknown. for only a whole person can be adequate to the task. The difference between directed and captured attention is the same as the difference between doing things and letting things take their course. But how can the whole person .particularly the human being's highest qualities . Without self-awareness. misunderstanding and distortion in the thinking of the modern world. etc. All the time there is.*z* . is completely impossible.be brought into play? When discussing the Four Levels of Being we found that the enormous superiority of the human over the animal level needed to be acknowledged.

we do not know how. He says: Y e s . ' H e is lost in t h o u g h t . carefully. 6 This is a very good description of a man acting like a programmed machine. W e p e e p i n t o s o m e o n e ' s office o r study. w e often 'lose ourselves'. ' I k n e w a m a n w h o u s e d t o lecture frequently. he can mentally absent himself. when or by whom. and this leads immediately to 81 . If the machine is implementing a good programme it gives a good lecture. Such moments of full freedom and self-awareness are all too rare. whispering t o o u r c o m p a n i o n s . considerately. o n subjects requiring m u c h t h o u g h t . Are we equally familiar with directing our attention to where we want it to be. are drifting along in our captivity. yet all our real attention is with the conversation. Most of our life is spent in some kind of thraldom. the programmer. H e t o l d m e that h e w o u l d b e c o m e a w a r e o f himself perhaps o n c e or twice d u r i n g t h e lecture. he w o u l d find h i m s e l f surprised that it w a s h e w h o h a d g i v e n the lecture. we may be driving 'attentively'. Y e t h e fully r e m e m b e r e d e v e r y t h i n g . e.which he (wrongly. He. not depending on any 'attraction'. a n d tip-toe a w a y . we are captivated by this or that. and we carry out programmes that have been lodged in our machine. Paradoxically. is no longer needed. a n d at the e n d o f it. a n d l o o k mentally at his subject-matter like a m a p o n w h i c h h e w a s f o l l o w i n g a route. as h e sat d o w n . the lecture is bad. We are all very familiar with the possibility of implementing 'programmes'. H e t o l d m e that h e h a d acquired the p o w e r t o put h i m s e l f o u t o f m i n d c o m p l e t e l y forget h i m s e l f . if the programme is bad. while t h e s p o k e n w o r d s flowed in c o m p l e t e o b e d i e n c e t o the successive ideas w h i c h were being l o o k e d at. when driving a car and engaging in an interesting conversation at the same time. I believe) calls contemplation.at t h e c o m m e n c e m e n t o f a lecture. and keeping it there for as long as we desire ? The truth of the matter is that we are not.g. implementing a programme devised some time ago. The first subject for study in what I have called 'field one' is therefore attention.

a study of our mechanicalness. The best help in this study that I know of is P. D. Ouspensky's book, The Psychology oj Man's Possible Evolution. It is not difficult to verify for oneself Ouspensky's observation that we may at any time find ourselves in any one of three different 'states' or 'parts of ourselves' - mechanical, emotional or intellectual (to use his terminology). The chief criterion for identifying these different 'parts' is the quality of our attention.
W i t h o u t attention o r w i t h attention w a n d e r i n g , w e are in the m e c h a n i c a l part; with the attention attracted by the subject o f o b s e r v a t i o n or reflection and kept there, w e are in the e m o tional part; w i t h the a t t e n t i o n c o n t r o l l e d a n d held o n the subject by will, w e are in the intellectual p a r t .
7

Now, in order to be aware of where our attention is and what it is doing, we have to be awake in a rather exacting meaning of the word. When we are acting or thinking or feeling mechanically, like a programmed computer or any other machine, we are obviously not awake in that sense, and we are doing, thinking or feeling things that we have not ourselves freely chosen to do, think or feel. We may say afterwards: 'I did not mean to do it' or T don't know what came over me.' We may intend, undertake and even solemnly promise to do all kinds of things, but if we are at any time liable to drift into actions 'we did not mean to do' or to be pushed by some thing that 'comes over us', what is the value of our intentions ? When we are not awake in our attention, we are certainly not self-aware and therefore not fully human; we are likely to act helplessly in accordance with uncontrolled inner drives or outer compulsions, like animals. Mankind did not have to wait for the arrival of modern psychology to obtain teachings on these vitally important matters. Traditional wisdom, including all the great religions, as mentioned before, has always described itself as 'The Way' and given some kind of 82

awakening as the goal. Buddhism has been called the 'Doctrine of Awakening'. Throughout the New Testament, people are admonished to stay awake, to watch, not to fall asleep. At the beginning of the Divine Comedy, Dante finds himself in a dark wood, and he does not know how he got there: 'so full was I of slumber at that moment when I abandoned the true way.' It is not physical sleep that is the enemy of man; it is the drifting, wandering, shiftless moving of his attention that makes man incompetent, miserable and less-than-fully-human. Without self-awareness, i.e. without a consciousness that is conscious of itself, man merely imagines that he is in control of himself, that he has free will and is able to carry out his intentions. In fact, as Ouspensky would put it, he has no more freedom to form intentions and act in accordance with them than has a machine. Only in occasional moments of self-awareness has he such freedom, and his most important task is by one means or another to make self-awareness continuous and controllable. For this purpose, different religions have evolved different ways. Here we can look only at a few examples. The 'heart of Buddhist meditation' is satipatthana, or mindfulness. One of the outstanding Buddhist monks of today, Nyanaponika Thera, introduces his book on this subject with these words:
T h i s b o o k is issued in t h e d e e p c o n v i c t i o n that t h e systematic c u l t i v a t i o n o f R i g h t M i n d f u l n e s s , as taught b y t h e B u d d h a in his D i s c o u r s e o n S a t i p a t t h a n a , still provides t h e m o s t s i m p l e a n d direct, t h e m o s t t h o r o u g h a n d effective m e t h o d , for training t h e m i n d for its daily t a s k s a n d p r o b l e m s as well as for its highest a i m : m i n d ' s u n s h a k e a b l e deliverance f r o m G r e e d , Hatred and Delusion . . . T h i s a n c i e n t W a y o f M i n d f u l n e s s is as practicable t o d a y a s it w a s 2 , 5 0 0 years a g o . It is a p p l i c a b l e in t h e l a n d s o f t h e W e s t as in the E a s t ; in t h e midst o f life's t u r m o i l as well a s in the peace of the m o n k ' s cell.
8

The essence of the development of Right Mindfulness is 83

an increase in the intensity and quality of attention, and the essence of quality of attention is its bareness.
Bare attention is the clear a n d s i n g l e - m i n d e d awareness o f w h a t actually h a p p e n s to us and in u s , at the successive m o m e n t s o f perception. It is called 'bare', because it attends just t o the bare facts o f a perception as presented . . . A t t e n t i o n o r mindfulness is kept t o a bare registering o f the facts o b served, w i t h o u t reacting t o t h e m by d e e d , speech or by mental c o m m e n t w h i c h m a y be o n e o f self-reference (like, dislike, etc.), j u d g m e n t or reflection. If during the time, short or long, given t o the practice o f Bare A t t e n t i o n , a n y such c o m m e n t s arise in o n e ' s m i n d , they themselves are m a d e objects o f Bare A t t e n t i o n , a n d are neither repudiated nor pursued, but are dismissed, after a brief mental n o t i c e has been m a d e of them.
9

These few indications may suffice to identify the essential nature of the method: Bare Attention is attainable only by stopping or, if it cannot be stopped, calmly observing all 'inner chatter'. It stands above thinking, reasoning, arguing, forming opinions - those essential yet subsidiary activities that classify, connect and verbalise the insights obtained through Bare Attention. 'In employing the methods of Bare Attention', says Nyanaponika, the mind 'goes back to the seed state of things . . . Observation reverts to the very first phase of the process of perception when mind is in a purely receptive state, and when attention is restricted to a bare noticing of the object.' In the words of the Buddha, 'In what is seen there must be only the seen; in what is heard there must be only the heard; in what is sensed (as smell, taste or touch) there must be only what is sensed; in what is thought there must be only what is thought.' In short, the Buddha's Way of Mindfulness is designed to ensure that man's reason is supplied with genuine and unadulterated material before it starts reasoning. What is it that tends to adulterate the material ? Obviously, man's egoism, his attachment to in10 11

84

there may in fact be many little. God. Religion is the re-connection (re-legio) of man with reality.and to get away from the T . Truth. as a famous English classic. and himself alone. At the latter. S h o u l d a n y t h o u g h t arise a n d o b t r u d e itself b e t w e e n y o u a n d the darkness. . Q u i t e p o s s i b l y he [the t h o u g h t ] will bring t o y o u r m i n d m a n y lovely a n d wonderful t h o u g h t s o f his k i n d n e s s . a n s w e r that it is G o d y o u w a n t : ' H i m I covet. Thoughts cannot lead to 'Awakening' because the whole point is to awake from thinking into 'seeing'. a n d n o t h i n g b u t h i m . but their answers do nothing to wake us up. egocentric and quite uncoordinated T s . calls it: 'A naked intention directed to God. a n d w h a t y o u are w a n t i n g . H e will g o o n chattering increasingly . in a very different vocabulary. they are called 'vain thoughts': 85 . Nothing can be achieved or attained as long as the little egocentric T stands in the way . his greed. [and] y o u r m i n d will be well a w a y . Allah. desires or. Nirvana cannot be found by thought. because thought belongs to the Level of Being established by consciousness and not to that higher Level which is established by self-awareness. The methods evolved in the Christian tradition are clothed. in Buddhist language. Thought can raise any number of questions. a s k i n g w h a t y o u are seeking.' The enemy is the intervention of thought. they may all be interesting. whether this reality be called God. accepted it. a n d g a v e it its h e a d . is wholly sufficient. . . hatred and delusion. Truth. Reality. Sat-Chit-Ananda or Nirvana. ' . but they none the less come to the same. Before y o u k n o w w h e r e y o u are y o u are disintegrated b e y o n d belief! A n d t h e r e a s o n ? S i m p l y that y o u freely c o n sented t o listen t o that t h o u g h t .terests. a n d r e s p o n d e d t o it. not surprisingly. thought has its legitimate place. In Buddhism. back in its o l d h a u n t s . .with 'naked intent'. . 1 2 It is not a question of good or bad thoughts. h i m I seek. The Cloud of Unknowing. . man must attend to 'God' . but it is a subservient one.

.teaching of all the religions is that vipassana (to use a Buddhist term). it will suppress you. the centrepiece of the Christian method is prayer. m u s t as o f t e n b e suppressed. the net o f o p i n i o n s . 14 While the centrepiece of the Indian method is yoga. This command has engaged the most serious attention of Christians throughout the centuries. can be attained only by him who succeeds in putting the 'thinking function' in its place. the clarity of vision. t h e bramble o f o p i n i o n s . . Patanjali (around 300 BC). all the same. but also. Jesus 'spake a parable unto them to this end. w h i c h is a l w a y s s o active .' Our circumstances are not merely the facts of life as we meet them. the essence of prayer goes beyond this. to thank Him and to praise Him are legitimate purposes of Christian prayer.as well as the most universal . Here is another quotation from The Cloud of Unknowing: Therefore t h e v i g o r o u s w o r k i n g o f y o u r i m a g i n a t i o n . t h e g o r g e o f o p i n i o n s . o p i n i o n is a sore. Unless you suppress it. the ideas in our minds. and not to faint' (Luke XVIII. is a d i s e a s e . O disciples. an anonymous jewel of world literature which was first printed in Russia in 1884. is called a saint. and even more. that men ought always to pray. 'Yoga is the control of the ideas in the mind. 1 3 What is yoga? According to the greatest of yoga teachers. . 86 . H e w h o h a s o v e r c o m e all o p i n i o n . It is impossible to obtain any control over circumstances without first obtaining control over the ideas in one's mind. t h e thicket o f o p i n i o n s .T h i s is called t h e blind alley o f o p i n i o n s . O disciples. 1). o p i n i o n is a t u m o u r . The Christian is called upon to 'pray without ceasing'. and the most important . . O p i n i o n . so that it maintains silence when ordered to do so and moves into action only when given a definite and specific task. Perhaps the most famous passage on it is found in The Candid Narrations of a Pilgrim to His Spiritual Father. To ask God for help. o n e w h o k n o w s .

moulds and reforms the whole person. ' W h e r e will I be a b l e t o find s o m e o n e w h o can explain it t o m e ? ' 1 5 The pilgrim then obtains the Philokalia. whether physical or spiritual. a sinner') is endlessly repeated by the mind in the heart. W h e n p e o p l e in the west t o d a y speak o f the heart. they usually m e a n the e m o t i o n s and affections. it can be felt as a peculiar kind of warmth. it has been brought to perfection mainly in the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches. and this vitalises. One of the great teachers of this matter. The essence of it is 'standing before God with the mind in the heart'. The prayer of the heart. A s such. normally the Jesus Prayer (consisting in English of these words: 'Lord Jesus Christ. while by no means unknown in the West. . where. since every m a n must o c c u p y himself with other things needed for his support . which 'comprises the complete and minute knowledge of incessant inner prayer. have mercy upon me. explains thus: 87 . I began t o p o n d e r whether it is possible t o pray w i t h o u t ceasing. as in m o s t ascetic texts o f the O r t h o d o x Church. in fact. In it w e are e x h o r t e d . as we have already noted. a m o n g other things. But in the Bible. 17 16 Now. and these w o r d s engraved themselves u p o n m y m i n d .T h e first Epistle o f St Paul t o the T h e s s a l o n i a n s w a s read. the person is distinguished from other beings by the mysterious power of self-awareness and this power. Theophan the Recluse (1815-94). It is the primary organ o f m a n ' s being. . it is the centre o f life. This inner prayer is also called 'prayer of the heart'. has its seat in the heart. the heart has a far wider c o n n o t a t i o n . the heart o b v i o u s l y includes the affections and e m o t i o n s . This has been explained as follows: T h e term 'heart' is o f particular significance in the O r t h o d o x doctrine o f m a n . ' W h a t a m I t o d o ? ' I m u s e d . t o pray incessantly. but it a l s o includes m u c h else b e s i d e s : it e m b r a c e s in effect everything that g o e s to c o m p r i s e w h a t w e call a ' p e r s o n ' . son of God. the determining principle o f all o u r activities and aspirations. as stated by twenty-five Holy Fathers'.

a n d d i m i n i s h i n g w a r m t h weakens attention. This s e n s a t i o n . that. by physical sensations of spiritual warmth. whereas in the initial stages the attention is kept in the heart by a n effort o f will. The First Field of Knowledge. The modern world likes matters to trifle with. and since religion has been abandoned by i 88 . Why not? Because trying it leads to the acquisition of certain insights. as it were. in d u e c o u r s e this a t t e n t i o n . where t h o u g h t s jostle o n e a n o t h e r . will not leave us alone: they will present a kind of ultimatum . A n d s o it c o m e s a b o u t that. by its o w n vigour. firmer. signalised. it g r o w s i n t o w a r m feeling a n d c o n c e n t r a t e s the a t t e n t i o n u p o n itself. faint at the beginning. does not easily induce us to try it. it is necessary t o preserve a t t e n t i o n a n d s o lead it i n t o the h e a r t : for s o l o n g as the m i n d remains in the h e a d . F r o m this. T h i s w a r m t h then h o l d s the a t t e n t i o n w i t h o u t special effort. it has n o t i m e t o c o n c e n t r a t e o n o n e thing. the Unvisibilia' are of infinitely greater power and significance than the visibilia\ To teach this basic truth has traditionally been the function of religion. silently. deeper. of which we are so immensely proud. once we have opened ourselves to them. at the human Level of Being. certain types of knowledge. but the results of a direct approach to the study and development of self-awareness are not to be trifled with.I n order t o k e e p the m i n d o n o n e thing by the use of a short prayer. is a minefield for anyone who fails to recognise that. A t first o n l y tepid.either you change or you perish. is so strange to the modern mentality that it tends to be dismissed as mumbo-jumbo. it attracts all the powers o f the soul a n d b o d y i n t o o n e p o i n t there. b e c a u s e dispersion o f attention c o o l s the w a r m t h . But w h e n attention d e s c e n d s i n t o the heart. a n d m u s t remain i n s e p a r a b l e . b e c o m e s gradually stronger. the t w o g o o n s u p p o r t i n g o n e a n o t h e r . 18 The assertion that the endless repetition. T h i s c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f all h u m a n life in o n e place is immediately reflected in t h e heart by a special s e n s a t i o n that is the b e g i n n i n g o f future w a r m t h . gives birth t o w a r m t h in t h e heart. Our pragmatism and respect for facts. of a short sequence of words leads to a spiritual result. in other words.

has become incapable of dealing with the real problems of life at the human Level of Being. implies that there are two elements or agents involved rather than one .provided only that the new programme does not wake him up. When he is awake. Healthy and useful piants may still appear there. The latter functions perfectly well without the attention of the former . Dr Wilder Penfield. reacts mechanically. no one can programme him: he programmes himself. studies. He is not aware that he is acting in accordance with programmes. mechanically. published a summa of his findings under the title The Mystery of the Mind.as a machine. This ancient teaching. as it were. Without self-awareness (in the full sense of 'factor z') man acts. unintentionally. Consciousness .Western civilisation nothing remains to provide this teaching. many of them poisonous. world-famous neurologist and brain surgeon.functions perfectly well without the presence of self-awareness. consequently. an assertion that has recently been corroborated by modern science. Just before his death at the age of eighty-four. 'factor z\ as is demonstrated by all higher animals. He says: 89 . which I am merely expressing in modern terms. but when it comes to the essentially human concerns it is both ignorant and incompetent. a wasteland overgrown with weeds. the first field of knowledge remains neglected. That the fullness of the human 'mind' cannot be accounted for by only one element is the universal assertion of all the great religions. Western civilisation.to make him think and do quite different things from those he had thought and done before . accidentally. but only. Without the wisdom a n d disciplines of authentic religion. speaks.'factory' . like a machine: on the basis of 'programmes' acquired accidentally.the computer programmer and the computer. Its competence at the lower levels is breathtakingly powerful. it is therefore not difficult to re-programme him .

T h r o u g h o u t m y o w n scientific career. 90 . however much he may depend upon the action of that computer for certain purposes. the t i m e has c o m e w h e n w e m a y profitably consider the e v i d e n c e as it stands.' He goes on to explain: B e c a u s e it s e e m s t o m e certain that it will a l w a y s be quite i m p o s s i b l e t o explain the m i n d o n the basis o f neuronal a c t i o n within the brain. His requirement is not simply knowledge of facts and theories. 20 Obviously. Such views are of course quite valueless and merely indicate a lack of adaequatio. Studying the first field of knowledge implies the systematic training of the 'higher' factor. w h i c h is the m o r e r e a s o n a b l e o f the t w o possible h y p o t h e s e s : that m a n ' s being is based o n o n e e l e m e n t . a n d b e c a u s e a c o m p u t e r ( w h i c h the brain is) must be operated by a n agency c a p a b l e o f independent understanding. Many people are incapable of seeing the difference between knowledge and insight and therefore view methods of training like satipatthana. a n d ask the q u e s t i o n : Do brain mechanisms account for the mind'! C a n the m i n d be explained by w h a t is n o w k n o w n a b o u t the b r a i n ? If n o t . but understanding or insight. The programmer cannot be trained simply by letting the computer run more regularly or faster. yoga or unceasing prayer as some kind of superstitions nonsense. B u t n o w . just as what I have called self-awareness is 'higher' than consciousness. I. like other scientists. All systematic effort produces some kind of result. a n d b e c a u s e it s e e m s to m e that the m i n d d e v e l o p s a n d m a t u r e s independently t h r o u g h o u t a n individual's life as t h o u g h it were a c o n t i n u i n g element. I a m forced t o c h o o s e the p r o p o s i t i o n that o u r being is t o be explained o n the basis o f t w o f u n d a m e n t a l e l e m e n t s . the processes of gaining insight are quite different from those of gaining factual knowledge. Not surprisingly. or o n t w o ? 1 9 Dr Penfield comes to the conclusion that 'the mind seems to act independently of the brain in the same sense that a programmer acts independently of his computer. the programmer is 'higher' than the computer. h a v e struggled t o p r o v e that the brain a c c o u n t s for the m i n d . perhaps.

T. pictures a n d d a y . a professor of philosophy at Princeton University. Mysticism and Philosophy he asks the long overdue question: 'What bearing. B y scrutinising a n d o b s e r v i n g his o w n inner self h e will o b t a i n an increasing k n o w l e d g e o f his w o r t h l e s s n e s s w h i c h m a y fill h i m with despair . for about twenty-five years. and ages'. Professor Stace writes as a philosopher and does not claim to have any personal experience of these matters. Stace. does what is called "mystical experience" have upon the more important problems of philosophy?'. . w o r d s . However. from 1935. In his book. 'They are. the silence o f o n e ' s o w n m i n d . It is perhaps unfortunate that Professor Stace uses the word 'mystical'. and thus to the methods employed by those seeking such experiences. he points out that there is no doubt that the basic psychological facts about this 'introvertive experience' are in essence 'the same all over the world in all cultures. when in fact nothing other is involved than the attentive exploration of one's own inner life. Silence here is m e a n t t o include inner s i l e n c e . O n e is advised t o repeat the prayer o f Jesus in 'silence'. He therefore finds them very strange indeed. 2 1 Few Western philosophers of the modern age have given serious attention to the methods of studying the first field of knowledge.T h e Jesus Prayer acts as a c o n s t a n t reminder t o m a k e m a n l o o k inwards at all times.' he said. which has acquired a somewhat mystical meaning. T h i s is n o t e a s y . places. and his investigations lead him to 'the introvertive type or mystical experience'. if any. impressions. . the arresting o f the imagination from the ever-turbulent a n d everpresent stream o f t h o u g h t s . . . 'so extraordinary and paradoxical that they are bound to strain 22 91 . . which k e e p o n e a s l e e p . t o b e c o m e aware o f his fleeting t h o u g h t s .d r e a m s . First of all. this does not detract from the pertinence and excellence of his observations. . T h e s e are the birth p a n g s o f the spirit a n d the g r o a n i n g s o f a w a k e n i n g spirituality in m a n . A rare exception is W. religions. as the mind works almost a u t o n o m o u s l y . s u d d e n e m o t i o n s a n d even m o v e m e n t s s o that it m a y m a k e h i m try to control t h e m .

has none of the 'contents' of the computer. the factor z . the factor y . .belief when suddenly sprung upon anyone who is not prepared for them.conscious92 . o n e s h o u l d g o o n t o e x c l u d e f r o m c o n s c i o u s n e s s all s e n s u o u s i m a g e s a n d t h e n all a b s t r a c t t h o u g h t s . of course. a f t e r h a v i n g g o t r i d o f all s e n s a t i o n s . s h o u l d n o t . a n d other particular c o n t e n t s . Although he states the facts in terms which no mystic has ever used. . 24 In the language I used previously we might say: the computer programmer emerges who. .' He then proceeds to set forth 'the alleged facts as the mystics state them without comment and without passing judgment'. volitions. but what then h a p p e n s is q u i t e different f r o m a l a p s e i n t o u n c o n s c i o u s n e s s . b y a c q u i r i n g sufficient c o n c e n t r a t i o n a n d m e n t a l c o n t r o l . 2 3 This is.self-awareness .u n a n i m o u s l y assert that they have attained t o this complete v a c u u m of particular mental contents.' p u r e ' in t h e s e n s e t h a t it is n o t t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s of a n y empirical content. however. becomes deeply puzzled: O n e w o u l d s u p p o s e a priori t h a t c o n s c i o u s n e s s w o u l d t h e n e n t i r e l y l a p s e a n d o n e w o u l d fall a s l e e p o r b e c o m e u n c o n s c i o u s . Professor Stace. what would then be left o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s ? T h e r e w o u l d b e n o m e n t a l c o n t e n t whatever but rather a complete emptiness. and only when.t h o u s a n d s o f t h e m all o v e r t h e w o r l d . again. his method of exposition is so clear that it is worth reproducing here in summary form: S u p p o s e t h a t o n e s h o u l d s t o p u p t h e inlets o f t h e p h y s i c a l senses so that n o sensations c o u l d reach consciousness . O n t h e c o n t r a r y . in other words. B u t t h e i n t r o v e r t i v e m y s t i c s . precisely the aim pursued by those who wish to study their inner life: the exclusion of all disturbing influences emanating from the senses or from the 'thinking function'. . It has n o content except itself. S u p p o s e t h a t . r e a s o n i n g p r o c e s s e s . vacuum. w h a t e m e r g e s is a s t a t e o f pure c o n s c i o u s n e s s .really comes into its own when. void. of course. e x c l u d e all p h y s i c a l s e n s a t i o n s f r o m h i s consciousness. T h e r e s e e m s t o be n o a priori r e a s o n w h y a m a n b e n t o n t h e g o a l .

How could they believe such a thing? Everybody. . or i m a g e s . out of the computer into the programmer. to transcend consciousness by self-awareness. to awake.leaves the centre of the stage. Such moments are pointers. has had some moments in his life which held more significance and real-ness of experience than his everyday life. in an experience that is something but no thing. as it were.both of them servants and not masters .' But there is nothing paradoxical in a 'higher' force displacing a 'lower' force. ] 26 The essential identity of these views with those of Dr Wilder Penfield is unmistakable.can this 'awakening' be 93 . urge man to open himself to the 'pure ego' or 'Self or 'Emptiness' or 'Divine Power' that dwells within him. Professor Stace continues his exploration thus: 25 O u r n o r m a l everyday c o n s c i o u s n e s s a l w a y s has objects. flashes of selfawareness. emerges into t h e light.an experience which is both something and nothing. surely. T h e self itself e m e r g e s . [Italics are m i n e . When the self is not engaged in apprehending objects it becomes aware of itself. glimpses of unrealised potentialities. The empirical ego is the stream of consciousness. Both corroborate the central teaching of the great religions which. The pure ego is the unity which holds the manifold of the stream together. n o r m a l l y h i d d e n . .by withdrawing attention from the things seen to give it to the things unseen . S u p p o s e then that w e obliterate all objects physical or mental. . O n e m a y a l s o say that the mystic gets rid o f the empirical e g o w h e r e u p o n the pure e g o . or even o u r o w n feelings or t h o u g h t s perceived introspectively.ness . The paradox exists only for those who insist on believing that there can be nothing 'higher than' or 'above' their everyday consciousness and experience. Professor Stace says: 'The paradox is that there should be a positive experience which has no positive content . in many different languages and modes of expression. Only by liberating oneself from the thraldom of the senses and the thinking function .

we look not at the things which are seen. now to turn to the second field of knowledge. . ' . 18). . There is a very great deal more that could be said about this greatest of all arts. that is the knowledge we may obtain of the inner experience of other beings. but at the things which are not seen.a c c o m p l i s h e d . the acquisition of selfknowledge. It will be more useful. but the things which are not seen are eternal' (2 Cor. in our terminology. IV. How then is such knowledge possible at all? 94 . by. the study of the first field of knowledge. for the things which are seen are temporal. One thing is certain: We seem to have no direct access to such knowledge (as already mentioned). however.

as compared with outer appearance. i. in desperation he may try to communicate without words . bodily touch.by gestures. most of them do not even wish us to know anything about their inner life. they say.7 T h e F o u r Fields of K n o w l e d g e . etc. without in the least wishing to mislead. mind your own business. the 'inner life'.e. the more likely are we to be able to obtain some knowledge of the 'inner life' of other beings.FIELD TWO The higher the Level of Being. movement. leave me alone.. 1 95 . virtually nothing about that of plants. also. the greater is the importance of inner experience. such measurable and directly observable attributes as size. and certainly nothing at all about that of stones and other pieces of inanimate matter.' Even when somebody at some time wants to 'bare his soul' to someone else he finds it extraordinarily difficult to do so. tends to say many things that are not true at all.e. 'Don't intrude. at least up to the human level. Let us then begin with other people. we can glimpse his meaning with regard to people and possibly animals but have very great difficulties when it comes to plants and minerals. How do we gain knowledge of what is going on inside them ? As I have said before. When St Paul says that 'We know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now'. i. does not know how to express himself and. weight. weeping. colour. even violence. shouting. a little bit even about the inner life of animals. signs. We are convinced that we can indeed know something of what goes on inside another human being. we are living in a world of invisible people.

) symbols. the listener must then in some way integrate the numerous symbols he has received and turn them into thought. . assuming that there is a genuine wish on the part of one person to convey his thought to another person (and leaving out all possibilities of deliberate deceit). etc.Although there are constant temptations to forget it. no amount of wealth. this may be called 'the first translation'. Consider the requirements step by step. Alas! the matter is not as simple as this. bodily movements.which in his judgment are able to 'externalise' his 'internal' thought. knowing the language used.First. intonation. in other words. feelings. particularly with 96 . this may be called 'the second translation'. with some precision. . fame or power can compensate us for our losses if these relationships go wrong. intentions. the speaker must know.second. Most people seem to believe that there is nothing more to this problem of communication than listening to another person's speech and observing the outward movements of his body. Yet they all depend on our ability to understand others and their ability to understand us. .fourth. that we can implicitly rely on other people's visible signals to convey to us a correct picture of their invisible thoughts.third. what is the thought he wishes to convey. health. etc.gestures. words. . but also that he must accurately observe the non-verbal symbols (such as gesture and intonation) that are being employed. . which means not only that he must accurately hear what is being said. It is not difficult to see how much can go wrong at each stage of this four-stage process. we all know that our lives are made or marred by our relationships with other human beings. the listener must have a faultless reception of these visible (etc. he must find visible (including audible) symbols .

If we cannot achieve a real 'meeting of minds' with the people nearest to us in our daily lives. and unreliable.or.' This is highly significant. word combinations.the two 'translations'. gestures. In order to achieve it.is a highly personal matter. intonation . but I agree with what you mean. There can be a 'meeting of minds'. even when immense time and effort is spent to formulate definitions. Both of us must become knowledgeable in what I call the second field of knowledge. It proceeds without elaborate definitions or provisos or escape clauses. miraculously. Even if the speaker is completely clear about the thought he wishes to convey. is a case of communication between two 'computers'. how can he be sure that he attaches the appropriate meaning to the symbols he receives? These doubts and questions are only too well justified. provisos. explanations and escape clauses. Words. is extremely laborious. his choice of symbols gestures. Since we know that only very little knowledge 97 . In fact. People are even capable of saying: T don't like the way you are putting it. All the same. or an invitation to two 'computer programmers' to get together. This. where everything has to be reduced to pure logic: either . in real life perfect communication is possible. intonation: these can be one of two things (or even a bit of each) computer language. and 'you' must be able to gain knowledge of what it is like to be me. The process. for which the words and gestures are little more than an invitation. as described. distinct and absolutely certain ideas. we might think. We are immediately reminded of legal or international diplomatic documents. and is not infrequent. we might come to the conclusion that reliable and accurate communication is impossible. exceptions. I must be able to gain knowledge of what it is like to be 'you'. our existence becomes an agony and a disaster. Here the dream of Descartes becomes real: nothing counts except precise. and even if the listener listens and observes perfectly.

he might find them funny or menacing or simply incomprehensible. we are bound to ask ourselves the question: 'What can I do to acquire better knowledge. and using our previous terminology. The outward signs of pain — noises.' Naturally. The 'invisibilia' of the other being • in this case his inner experience of pain . may come as a shock: if only that which can be observed by our outer senses Q8 . to become more understanding of what is going on inside the people with whom I live?' Nov/. No doubt he would attempt some kind of an interpretation. The example of bodily pain is instructive precisely because there is no subtlety about it. inaccessible to external observation. As I have emphasised before. they are all invisible. and the precondition of my ability to understand correctly is my own self-knowledge. a flow of tears . good observation and good listening are also necessary. movements.comes naturally to most of us and the acquisition of better knowledge requires effort. I leave it to the reader to explore the enormous range of inner experiences that fills the lives of men and women.would remain invisible to him. bit by bit. A person who had never consciously experienced bodily pain could not possibly know anything about pain suffered by others.senses. Few people doubt the reality of pam.would of course be noticed by him as by anyone else. the point is that even perfect observation and perfect listening lead to nothing unless the data thus obtained are correctly interpreted and understood. In other words. the remarkable fact is that all traditional teachings give one and the same answer to this question: 'You can understand other beings only to the extent that you know yourself. true. but he would be totally inadequate to the task of understanding them correctly. and the realisation that here is a thing that we all recognise as real. there must be adaequatio. my own inner experience. one of the great 'stubborn facts' of human existence. item by item. which none the less is unobservable by our outer .

subtle and vulnerable as our own: throughout the ages. compassion and 2 99 . If all these forces or movements inside me are not really real. scientifically respectable. it is necessary that I should take my own inner life seriously. do not really suffer as we do and do not really possess an inner life as complex. knowledge of the inner experiences of other beings than ourselves.is deemed to be real. there is no lack of understanding of the fact that man is a social being and 'no man is an Island. and if I do not take them seriously in myself. and should practise tolerance. entire of itself (John Donne. In modern times. man has shown an enormous capacity to carry the sufferings of others with fortitude and equanimity. we have a situation in which misunderstandings and injustices are the order of the day. hope. There is no escape from this situation except by the diligent and systematic cultivation of the first field of knowledge. And the same applies to everything else that moves us internally . But what does that mean? It means that I must put myself in a condition so that I can truly observe what is going on and begin to understand what I observe. including other people. i.e. anguish. which are visible to us.and through which alone we can obtain the insights needed for the cultivation of the second field of knowledge. moreover (as Mr J. 'subjective'. they need not be taken seriously. 'objective'. G. To be able to take the inner life of my neighbour seriously. unscientific. Since. 15721631). or at least not be nasty to him. pain must be dismissed as unreal. fear. while we see others mainly in the light of their actions. which are invisible to others. we tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions. how could I consider them real and take them seriously in another being? It is indeed more convenient to assume that other beings.love and hatred. through which . joy and sorrow. Hence there is no lack of exhortation that he should love his neighbour. Bennett has shrewdly observed) . etc.

unless. Exhortations.shows the disastrous consequences of the current lack of competence in the second field of knowledge. Meanwhile. etc.without which genuine self-knowledge cannot be obtained. cannot possibly have any effect. law-abiding people and good citizens. that is to say. and would not even understand what was meant by these words.these fundamental truths are forgotten even by many of the professionals of the established religions. which in turn is the direct result of the modern refusal to attend to the first field of knowledge. crumbles into nothingness as soon as self-interest is threatened and fear of any kind is aroused. it is the object of active suppression. They may consider themselves decent. maybe 'human100 . world crises multiply and everybody deplores the shortage. It is hardly rational to expect such high qualities from people who have never done any inner work.sattipatthana. the place of genuine understanding of one's neighbour is taken by sentimentality which. The enormous popularity of the crudest and meanest psychological and economic doctrines purporting to 'explain' the actions and motives of others never of ourselves! . At the same time. that there can be no knowledge of the 'invisible person' who is your neighbour except on the basis of self-knowledge . the culture of self-knowledge has fallen into virtually total neglect. or even total lack.understanding. yoga. of course. trite theories. Jesus Prayer or something similar . The place of knowledge is taken by assumptions. unselfish leaders. trustworthy counsellors. fantasies. That you cannot love your neighbour unless you love yourself. of 'wise' men or women. self-knowledge. Anyone who openly goes on a 'journey into the interior' who withdraws from the ceaseless agitation of everyday life and pursues the kind of training . that you cannot understand your neighbour unless you understand yourself. is accused of selfishness and of turning his back on his social duties. consequently. however.

w e l o s e our fortune. Like a 'pianola'. self-knowledge and. selfcontrol.ists'. w e m e e t a bear. . maybe 'believers'. Symbols cannot be understood like mathematical formulae. we have to become aware of its meaning inside ourselves. for instance. angry because w e strike. a n d n o t that w e cry. like a computer they carry out pre-arranged programmes. outdated. gestures and facial expressions. and which would give us the power to help them when necessary. are frightened a n d r u n . A gesture. thereby rejecting the very force. that of self-awareness. strike. or tremble. that could wake us up and lift us to the truly human level. T h e h y p o t h e s i s here t o be defended says that this order o f s e q u e n c e is incorrect . are angry a n d strike. because w e are sorry. People say: It is all a matter of communication. as mentioned before. with our body rather than with our brain. implies two 'translations' . thereby. they play mechanical music.from thought to symbol and from symbol to thought. But communication. It makes very little difference how they dream about themselves. An important part of the modern 'programme' is to reject religion as cheaply moralising. 3 101 . cannot be understood by the rational mind.s e n s e says. There is a strange and mysterious connection between the interior-invisible and the exterior-visible. of knowledge and understanding of others. angry. Sometimes the only way to understand the mood or feelings of another person is by imitating his posture. they have to be experienced interiorly. . as t h e c a s e m a y b e . perhaps the only force. They cannot properly be taken up by consciousness. ceremonial dogmatism. afraid because w e tremble. w e are insulted by a rival. or fearful. but only by self-awareness. a n d that the m o r e rational statement is that w e feel sorry b e c a u s e w e cry. are sorry a n d w e e p . The programmer is asleep. William James (1842-1910) was interested in the bodily expression of emotions and advanced the theory that the emotion we feel is nothing but the feeling of some bodily changes: C o m m o n . Of course it is.

But we can look at the whole life of the person in question. brings into sharp focus the intimate connection between inner feeling and bodily expression. dear Brutus. it points to a mysterious bridge connecting the invisible and the visible. a condition that precludes all serious study of one's inner world. When a high degree of inner calmness and quietude has been established. Naturally. is n o t in o u r stars. organising ability. this is called vipassana. We have no easy means of distinguishing between infra-human and supra-human 'madness'. the 'computer' is left behind and the 'computer programmer' comes into his own. those of us who have no personal experience of this higher level cannot imagine it.The hypothesis. In Christian terms. there is some kind of encounter with a higher Level of Being. even madness. Uncontrolled agitation of the body inevitably produces uncontrollable agitation" of the mind. MY) . In Buddhist terms. to say the least. wisdom and personal influence. when we cannot understand them. that T h e fault. I have no doubt that a baby learns a great deal about its mother's emotions by imitating her posture and facial movements and then discovering what feelings are associated with these bodily expressions. the first step in the establishment of control over the thinking function. that w e are underlings. although probably more remarkable for its originality than for its truth value. above the human level. and identifies the body as an instrument of knowledge. or 'clarity of vision'. for the establishment of control over the body is. If there is plenty of evidence of great intellectual powers. and the language of those who are trying to tell us about it either means nothing to us or appears to indicate a disordered mind. It is for these reasons that all methods devised for the acquisition of self-knowledge (field one) pay a great deal of attention to bodily postures and gestures. we can be quite certain. B u t in o u r s e l v e s .

. H a v i n g felt s u c h rapture a n d h a p p i n e s s a c c o m p a n i e d by the 'brilliant light' . . to master magic and miracles. It seems that the real aim is to obtain new thrills. h e gets over the corruptions relating t o brilliant light. this aspiration. tranquillity. T h e r e arises a l s o rapture . a very s u b l i m e feeling o f happiness . etc. a n d s o o n . Unfortunately. 4 Christian saints and sages are equally clear on this 103 . . the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw (1904-55). . does not grow out of a deep respect for the great wisdom traditions of mankind. attachment. although an inkling and intimation of possibilities and an inspiration towards a real effort of awakening can always be obtained. . . . T o o n e it will appear like t h e light o f a l a m p . The advice of all people knowledgeable in these matters is not to seek occult experiences and not to pay any attention to them when they occur . with others it m a y last l o n g e r . a n d it is a corruption o f Insight w h i c h usually takes place in the m a n n e r just described . . in most cases. the world religions. or after leaving t h e m u n h e e d e d .and they almost inevitably will occur when any intensive inner work is undertaken. . . W i t h o n e it m a y last for just o n e m o m e n t . the meditator n o w believes: 'Surely I must h a v e attained t o the Supram u n d a n e Path a n d F r u i t i o n ! N o w I have finished the task o f m e d i t a t i o n . The great teacher of Buddhist Satipatthana Meditation. and associated with a total inability to distinguish between the spiritual and the occult. tranquillity o f m i n d . thereby to enliven existential boredom. to others like a flash o f lightning. warns the pupils that he will have all sorts of extraordinary experiences: A brilliant light will appear t o h i m . . rapture. After noticing these manifestations o f Brilliant Light a n d the others. . he [the true seeker] g o e s o n c o n t i n u o u s l y as before . ' This is m i s t a k i n g what is not t h e Path for the P a t h . There is today a great deal of talk about the attainment of 'higher states of consciousness'. or like the radiance o f the m o o n o r the s u n . . . but is based on fantastic notions of 'Aquarian Frontier' and 'Evolution of Consciousness'. . . . .N o one is adequate to that which lies above him. h a p p i n e s s .

'Simply to believe a religion to be true.point. in a n y case he will h a v e within himself a complete impediment to the attainment of spirituality. who spent most of his life 'editing' sacred 6 7 104 . [Italics are m i n e . and not to know it to be true through having tested it by the scientific methods of yoga. for the bodily sense is as ignorant o f spiritual things as is a beast o f rational things. results in the blind leading the blind. and there are w o n t to c o m e . Or yoga in its many forms. but the taproot. ] 5 The New Consciousness that is so much talked about today cannot help us out of our difficulties and will merely increase the prevailing confusions. a n d even m o r e s o . and can do nothing to improve our understanding of ourselves and of our fellow creatures. of all authentic religions. If it merely leads to fascination with occult phenomena. Inner work. Evans-Wentz. unless it arises from a genuine search for self-knowledge (the first field of knowledge) and moves on to an equally genuine study of the inner life of other beings (the second field of knowledge) and also to the third field of knowledge. w i t h o u t trying t o ascertain whether they be g o o d or evil. and it must be said that religion without applied psychology is completely worthless. . . t o spiritual p e r s o n s representations a n d objects o f a supernatural k i n d . as it were. We can take St John of the Cross (1542-91) as a typical example: W i t h respect to all [bodily senses] there m a y c o m e . a l t h o u g h all these things m a y h a p p e n to the bodily senses in the w a y o f G o d . it belongs to the fourth field of knowledge (also to be considered later). . Y. . is not a peculiarity of the East. and to give intellectual assent to its creed and dogmatic theology. but must a l w a y s fly from t h e m .' This statement comes from Dr W. . we must never rely upon them or accept them. It has been called 'the applied psychology of religion'. S o he that e s t e e m s such things errs greatly and exposes himself to great peril of being deceived. A n d it must be k n o w n that. which will be discussed later.

and so could other men and women who had attained an exceptional degree of self-mastery and self-knowledge. but in the inner world of the scientist himself.and nothing can be learned from it . St Francis could communicate with animals. He asks: Is Occidental m a n for m u c h l o n g e r t o be c o n t e n t with the study o f the external universe. a n d anthrop o l o g y a n d p s y c h o l o g y as applied sciences in the sense unders t o o d in yoga are for a l m o s t all Occidental scientists m e r e d r e a m s o f impracticable visionaries. that this u n s o u n d v i e w can l o n g e n d u r e . are w e n o t u n w i s e in failing t o give it unprejudiced scientific e x a m i n a t i o n ? A p p l i e d sciences in o u r p o r t i o n o f the w o r l d are. m a t h e m a t i c s . While the methods of Western science can be applied by anyone who has learned them. 105 . as mentioned before. the inner life of beings at lower levels: animals and even plants. is not worth studying . the Oriental s a g e is able t o direct us o f the O c c i d e n t t o a m e t h o d o f attaining scientific understanding o f the hidden side o f m a n ' s nature. a n d the like. Self-knowledge. His pov/ers certainly go far beyond those we are ordinarily familiar with and are not confined to the framework of time and space. but only for the computer programmer. limited t o chemistry. physics. This inner world. u n fortunately. the scientific methods of yoga can be effectively applied only by those prepared first of all to put their own house in order through discipline and systematic inner work. p h y s i o l o g y .writings from Tibet and making them available to the West. e c o n o m i c s . Reverting to our earlier way of speaking. W e d o n o t believe. is the precondition of understanding other people. h o w e v e r . It is also the precondition of understanding. at least to some extent. we can say: such communicating is not possible for the computer.if it is an impenetrable chaos. a n d n o t k n o w h i m s e l f ? If. 8 'Applied science in the sense understood in yoga' means a science that finds its material for study not in the appearances of other beings. as the editor believes. m e c h a n i c s . of course.

There is no lack of examples from all ages and all parts of the world. Perhaps the first thing to be noted is that there is a conspiracy of 'official' silence about all three although they have left behind a great mass of evidence of one kind or another.not in the attainment of powers but in their own inner development . unworthy of serious interest. Wood. piano and violin and showed exceptional musical talent but had to wait until his fortieth year before he was offered an appointment that promised to 9 106 . It will serve our present purposes to have a quick look at three recent cases where the higher possibilities of the human being have manifested themselves.he had two younger brothers . in 1800. the third one receives a short mention of a highly biased kind.will study the lives and works of people who have put themselves under the control of 'Higher Mind' and thus broken out of our ordinary confinement of time and space. Those who are genuinely interested .Ernest E. The first case is that of Jakob Lorber. a province of Austria. who was born in Styria. leaving the reader with the feeling that the case is one of hysteria and probably deliberate fraud. as it were. but he was also a musician who could play virtually all instruments and was able to earn some extra income as a conductor. Jakob . under our very eyes. His eldest son. His father owned two small vineyards which produced a meagre living for the family.learned to play the organ. the Encyclopaedia Britannica. and to tell him that as he is calling into expression high forces within and behind and above his present level of self he must let them do their work in him. The reader would search in vain if he looked for two of them in the biggest of present-day encyclopaedias.' It is therefore neither necessary nor advisable to talk about these matters in detail. says: T wish to guard the novice against the two dangers of self-judgment and the fixing of goals. who really could speak from experience of yoga.

am speaking. There is no rational explanation for the range. The centrepiece of Lorber's writings is the New St John's Gospel in ten big volumes. but at the same time such a plethora of high wisdom and insight that it would be difficult to find anything more impressive in the whole of world literature. that none of it flowed from his own mind and 107 . Many prominent men of his time were intimate friends of Lorber's.T. and Jakob Lorber stayed at Graz and wrote down what the inner voice dictated to him until he died. Lorber himself always assured. N o one has ever raised the slightest doubt about the fact that the Lorber manuscripts came into existence during the years 1840-1864 and were produced by Jakob Lorber alone. Lorber's books. He was on the point of leaving Graz to take up his new job at Trieste when he heard inside himself a very clear voice ordering him to 'get up. and was able to convince his friends. a monumental 'New Revelation'.' They contain many strange things which are unacceptable to the modern mentality. During these twenty-four years. who lived in poverty and often experienced his writing task as a very heavy burden. I shall not attempt here to describe or in any way to characterise these works. with hardly any corrections.give him scope for his talents. and they show an absolutely even flow of writing. some of them supported him with food and money during the twenty-four years of his writing activity. A few have written down their impressions of this humble and totally unpretentious man. on 24 August 1864. profundity and precision of their contents. aged sixty-four. all written in the first person singular . he produced the equivalent of twenty-five volumes of 400 pages each. which left hardly any time for earning a living. The original manuscripts are still in existence. This was on 15 March 1840. are full of statements on scientific matters which flatly contradicted the sciences of his time and anticipated a great deal of modern physics and astronomy. at the same time. take a pen and write'. Jesus Christ.

The case of Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) is perhaps even more striking. would throw the whole apparatus of modern materialistic scientism out of gear. inc l u d i n g H o n o r e d e Balzac. How is it to be explained that Swedenborg finds a place in all modern reference books and Lorber in none of them? The article on Swedenborg in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th edition) comments on his influence as follows: 10 S w e d e n b o r g ' s influence is by n o m e a n s restricted t o his i m m e d i a t e disciples. W i l l i a m Butler Y e a t s . These statements. Much the same could be said about Jakob Lorber. constitute 'one of the largest and most impressive records of psychic perception ever to 108 . H i s v i s i o n s a n d religious ideas have been a s o u r c e o f inspiration for a n u m b e r o f p r o m i n e n t writers. This fact. answering very specific questions from over 6. H i s theological writings h a v e b e e n translated into m a n y languages. Lorber is too close to us to be tolerable. There are certain similarities between Lorber and Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Charles Baudelaire. Yet his existence remains unrecognised by the 'official' organs of the modern world.000 stenographic records of the statements he had made during a kind of sleep. who preceded him by roughly a hundred years. and the contrast to Swedenborg.000 different people. in the course of forty-three years. a n d A u g u s t Strindberg. R a l p h W a l d o E m e r s o n . a n d there is a c o n s t a n t flow o f n e w e d i t i o n s . it is impossible to treat him as a legend of the distant past. He lived in the USA and left well over 14.that no one was more astonished at these contents than he himself. generally referred to as 'readings'. yet to accept his reality and that of his 'New Revelation' and to face the implications of such an acceptance. seem to me to illustrate very effectively the progressive constriction and narrowing of the modern mind. His books have been continuously in print for over a hundred years and more than a million copies have been sold.

The chances of students of medicine. Together with their relevant records. and. he never lost his modesty and simplicity.' For the 'official' organs of the modern world. to put aside. correspondence and reports.] 12 Even more contemporary than Edgar Cayce is Therese Neumann. then all evidence is unreliable. your own personality? [Italics are mine. and human 109 . Putting himself into some kind of trance. . He said: 11 A p p a r e n t l y I a m o n e o f the few w h o can lay aside their o w n personalities sufficiently t o a l l o w their souls t o m a k e this att u n e m e n t t o the universal source o f k n o w l e d g e .emanate from a single individual. Edgar Cayce simply does not exist. who lived in southern Germany from 1898 to 1962. He certainly never exploited the immense fame he gained during his lifetime. even once a year. psychology. The Encyclopaedia Britannica does not mention him. even in poverty. . however. Would you be willing. also known as Therese of Konnersreuth. in increasing numbers. he was able to give generally accurate diagnoses of the illnesses of complete strangers living hundreds or even thousands of miles away. although short-tempered. Thousands of people asked him for medical help. or in fact of any other subject hearing of this great healer at their universities are almost nil. Like Jakob Lorber. for much of his life.but I say this w i t h o u t a n y desire t o brag a b o u t i t . students. If the documentary evidence and eye-witness accounts relating to Therese Neumann cannot be accepted as reliable evidence. they have been cross-indexed under thousands of subject headings and placed at the disposal of psychologists. The work his gifts imposed upon him was all too often a heaven burden on him. pass out entirely from.if they w o u l d o n l y be willing to pay the price o f detachment from self-interest that it takes t o d e v e l o p t h o s e abilities. to examine them. I a m certain all h u m a n beings h a v e m u c h greater p o w e r s than they are ever c o n s c i o u s o f . philosophy. Edgar Cayce lived modestly. writers and investigators who still come. nobody can ever be believed.

they may or may not be 'added unto you'. Much can be related of Therese's inner life and its extraordinary outward manifestations.knowledge is impossible. immensely common-sensical peasant woman. but perhaps the most noteworthy fact connected with it is this: here is a sturdy. who lives for thirty-five years without ingesting any liquid or any food except the daily Eucharist. only when the striving for 'power' has entirely ceased and been replaced by a certain transcendental longing. cheerful.limits imposed by space and time. 110 . Jakob Lorber. At this suprahuman level each of them found. liberation from constraints that operate at the level of ordinary humanity . by the needs of the body and by the opacity of the computer-like mind.a Level infinitely above that of their own insignificance. it happened under our eyes. This is not a legend from a remote place or time. investigated virtually continuously for thirty-five years. at Konnersreuth in what was called the American Zone of West Germany. in their various ways. All three examples illustrate the paradoxical truth that such 'higher powers' cannot be acquired by any kind of attack and conquest conducted by the human personality. observed by innumerable people. Edgar Cayce and Therese Neumann were intensely religious personalities who never ceased to aver that all their knowledge and power came from 'Jesus Christ' . often called the love of God.

my inner experiences. for it has a methodical aversion. must consist of two parts knowing my own inner world (field one) and knowing myself as I am known by others (field three). We have direct access to field one. Without the latter. to be healthy and complete. when I shut my eyes the world 111 . and this can lead to a great deal of misunderstanding with other people. This aversion is not untinged by fear. Self-knowledge. If I derive my 'picture of myself solely from field one. and simply shuts its eyes. but no direct access to field three. to whom our actions tend to be much more real than our intentions. and this takes us to a consideration of the third field of knowledge: the systematic study of the inner worlds of myself (field one) and of other beings (field two) must be balanced and complemented by an equally systematic study of myself as an objective phenomenon. as a result. as I have said before. against anything pertaining to a Level of Being that is higher than that of the most humdrum and ordinary life. the modern world abandons its pragmatic attitudes.8 The Four Fields of Knowledge . Therese Neumann and indeed countless others. Edgar Cayce. as we have already mentioned. I inevitably tend to see myself as 'the Centre of the Universe': everything revolves around m e . Are there not great dangers in the pursuit of self-knowledge? There are indeed. the former may indeed lead to the grossest and most destructive illusions. of which it is so proud. our intentions tend to be much more real to us than our actions.FIELD T H R E E In the face of facts such as those presented by the lives of Jakob Lorber.

one of the Big Three of Hitler's Germany . his laziness. a n d experiences y o u in y o u r daily b e h a v i o u r . the whole world will perish. the world w o u l d indeed b e a h a p p y place. his facial e x p r e s s i o n s . unalloyed by any wishful associations. In field three. T h e r e are n o limits t o vanity a n d selfconceit. if y o u h a v e n o selfo b s e r v a t i o n y o u m a y actually imagine this w o u l d be c h a r m i n g a n d that if e v e r y o n e were just like y o u . T h e y a n s w e r e d : ' U p here w e h a v e very special mirrors w h i c h are quite different from t h o s e in y o u r world. T h i s m a n is yourself. then. what would I see if I could see myself as I am seen? This is a very difficult task. his insincere w a y o f s p e a k i n g . into how h e sees y o u . E v e r y t h i n g h e said infuriated h i m a n d disgusted h i m . and the injunction. 'don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you'. O f c o u r s e . remains meaningless if I am unaware of my actual impact upon others. 1 . What do I really observe? Or rather. a n d hears y o u . Without its accomplishment harmonious relationships with other people are impossible. my happiness. A passage from the diaries of Dr Goebbels . i n t o all his life. his habits.' Let us s u p p o s e . in fact. I o n c e read a story o f a m a n w h o died a n d w e n t i n t o the next world where he m e t a n u m b e r o f p e o p l e s o m e o f w h o m he k n e w a n d liked a n d s o m e h e k n e w a n d disliked.his m a n n e r . H e a s k e d the others w h o this i m p o s s i b l e m a n w a s . There are harmless and mildmannered philosophers who raise the questions of whether the tree at which they are looking will still be there when nobody is looking. my suffering turns the world into a vale of tears. into a garden of delight. They have lost themselves in field one and have not been able to reach field three. N o w in putting yourself i n t o a n o t h e r person's p o s i t i o n y o u are a l s o putting yourself i n t o his point o f view.disappears. objective observation is required. Perhaps this is w h a t the other p e r s o n h a s t o d o . he says. that y o u h a v e t o live with a person w h o is y o u . But we do not need such gruesome examples.a n d it s e e m e d t o h i m a l s o that he c o u l d see i n t o this m a n ' s t h o u g h t s a n d his feelings a n d all his secrets a n d . totally detached.comes to mind: if we perish. But there w a s o n e person there w h o m h e did n o t k n o w a n d he c o u l d not bear h i m . Y o u are seeing yourself t h r o u g h his e y e s .

albeit in a very scattered form.This is a very vivid and accurate description of what it means to obtain knowledge in field three. t o observe. perhaps mercifully so. But the w o r d used for the b e a m in oneself is interesting. Ouspensky by Maurice Nicoll. But the 'very special mirrors' of the story do not exist on this earth. t o learn. therefore. and we possess many mechanisms to protect ourselves from this revelation. This requires a very high degree of 113 . O b v i o u s l y s o m e t h i n g far m o r e difficult is m e a n t than merely seeing a n o t h e r ' s faults. D. but considereth not the beam that is in thine own eye?' He points out: In t h e G r e e k . can we fulfil this task. does not take us very far into field three. t o acquire k n o w l e d g e of. then. It m e a n s 'to t a k e n o t i c e of. Our natural curiosity. and we are all too easily diverted into studying the faults of others rather than our own. Gurdjieff and P. t o take in a fact a b o u t . His guidance goes under the term of 'external considering'. or putting yourself into the other person's place. and that the former without the latter may be worse than useless. The shocks they would administer might be more than we could take. what he sounds like and what impression he makes on others. t h e w o r d u s e d for the m o t e is s i m p l y see. I. t o detect. and it incidentally makes it quite clear that knowledge in field one is of quite a different kind from knowledge in field three. T o turn r o u n d is not e a s y . t o understand'. Dr Nicoll reminds us of the words in the Gospels: 'Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye. T h a t is e a s y t o d o . Everybody has a very natural curiosity with regard to what he looks like. from which I have already quoted several times. It is always painful to realise that there really is quite a lot wrong with oneself. Perhaps the most helpful guidance in this field is to be found in the Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of G. so crucial for the harmony of our life with others ? The methodology is set out in the books of traditional religions. 2 How.

It is not about whether you were right or the other person.but self-awareness. It increases consciousness'. Mere consciousness will not do so. it confirms me in my own situation.at least to become fully aware of the swing of my pendulum. As Dr Nicoll puts it. just as I can easily observe the swing of theirs. To put myself into another person's situation. Knowledge in field three will help us to see ourselves as others see us. and we find it always difficult to keep two opposites in our mind at the same time. This is a matter of quite fundamental importance. the quality or power required is not simply consciousness .e. The 3 114 . It is not as if apparent contradictions were necessarily manifestations of error. What kind of effort? Nothing in this line is possible without self-awareness. they are manifestations of Truth. without judging or justifying it. Only the computer programmer can effect a real change. such as 'putting oneself into another person's situation'.inner truthfulness and freedom. and I should add: 'to the level of self-awareness'. but we do not. as we shall see later. The computer can do nothing but produce its pre-established programme. of the fact that I tend to change very often from one opinion to its opposite. But it is my task .what I have called 'factor y\ which enables beings to be animals . Other people notice how we contradict ourselves. i. It cannot be learned in a day.in field three . Everywhere there are opposites. and good intentions cannot succeed without protracted efforts. Others can easily observe the swing of my pendulum from one opposite to the other. 'factor z\ which enables animals to be human beings. One of the things we are at least aware of as regards ourselves is our own 'swing of the pendulum'. and it is my task not merely to notice the change but to take note of it uncritically. I must detach myself from my own situation. and therefore to see our contradictions. more likely. 'External considering is very good work. In other words.

just one little ant among four thousand millions of them on the face of this puny little Earth! and yet.not pictures retouche by our current opinions of right or wrong. a n d the m o r e y o u externally c o n s i d e r . The best method we can follow to obtain the requisite knowledge about ourselves is therefore to observe and understand the needs. his self-awareness remains dormant as a mere potentiality. And these others are a kind of mirror in which we can see ourselves as we actually are. the weakest thing in nature. . and then y o u will be able t o put yourself in the other person's p o s i t i o n .studies in field one may tend to raise one's feelings of self-importance. just a s y o u h a v e . . we do not live alone. putting ourselves in their situation. T h e less vanity .of what is actually happening .necessary! . catching true glimpses of oneself. The main help we have in obtaining knowledge in field three comes from the fact that we are social beings. so that we obtain cool.essence of the task in field three is uncritical selfobservation. y o u h a v e . t o realise that he has a l s o this thing that y o u h a v e noticed in yourself. One of the methods of study in field three is 'taking photographs'. perplexities and difficulties of others. 4 While the .a reed. but with others. the counterbalancing studies in field three should lead to the realisation of one's nothingness. we may have got 115 . even if. What am I in this great. objective pictures. 'Man is only a reed. as sometimes happens when we are not aware of looking at ourselves. and s o o n . t h e less i m p o r t a n t will y o u think y o u r s e l f . that he has his inner difficulties. Dr Nicoll has this to say: If y o u h a v e taken a n a l b u m o f g o o d p h o t o g r a p h s o f yourself t h r o u g h l o n g self-observation. not as we imagine ourselves to be. t h e n y o u will not h a v e t o l o o k far in it t o find in yourself w h a t y o u object to so m u c h in the other p e r s o n . . One day. . that is to say. but he is a thinking reed' . with self-awareness. that is. to speak with Pascal (1623-62). and to that extent infinitely precious. most of the time. great Universe? What am I .

The Christian is told 'to love his neighbour as himself. the elimination of all traces of egoism. it means the attainment of perfect altruism. perplexities and difficulties. Only through the highest moral qualities of compassion and altruism are we able to enter them. 116 . there is nothing standing between him who loves and him who is being loved. do not come into this picture at all: such total absence of ego would mean total objectivity and total effectiveness. Just as compassion is the prerequisite of learning in the second field of knowledge.to the point when we can do this so perfectly that we. To love one's neighbour as one loves oneself. means to love without any interference from one's own ego. little 'egos' with our own needs. his own little ego tends to stand in between. What does that mean? When a person loves himself. therefore. We have noted before that these two fields are not 'directly accessible' to our observation. But when he loves his neighbour. so altruism is the prerequisite of learning in the third.

Pareto. notions and presuppositions as to causes. . that cannot be verified by sense-observation. physiology. c h e m i s t r y . like countless others. is the real homeland of every kind of behaviourism: only strictly observable behaviour is of interest. insists that only in what I call 'field four' can there be a 'scientific approach': T h e field in w h i c h w e m o v e is t h e r e f o r e t h e field o f e x p e r i e n c e a n d o b s e r v a t i o n s t r i c t l y . By 'appearance' I mean everything that offers itself to our senses. and he restricts 117 . Field four.FIELD FOUR I We now turn to a consideration of the fourth field of knowledge. etc. therefore. W e u s e t h o s e t e r m s in t h e m e a n i n g s t h e y h a v e in t h e n a t u r a l s c i e n c e s s u c h a s a s t r o n o m y . All the sciences are busy in this field. a n d so o n . and . and many people believe that it is the only field in which true knowledge can be obtained. whose Trattato di Sociologia Generale has been hailed as 'the greatest and noblest effort' ever undertaken in the direction of 'objective thinking without sentiment. . the methods by which the rational state of mind can be cultivated . 2 Pareto. wishes to base himself exclusively on 'experience and observation'. . the 'appearance' of the world around us.9 The Four Fields of Knowledge . we may quote Vilfredo Pareto (18481923). . As an example. In the fourth field of knowledge the decisive question is always 'What do I actually observe?' and progress is attained by eliminating assumptions. a n d not t o m e a n those other things w h i c h it is t h e f a s h i o n t o d e s i g n a t e b y t h e t e r m s ' i n n e r ' or 'Christian' experience. in other words. .. .

helped by instruments and other apparatus and guides. where outer appearance is a very unimportant matter compared with inner experience.the meaning of these terms to facts that the outer senses. . and a recipe for real success: O n e readily understands h o w the history o f the sciences d o w n t o o u r o w n time is substantially a history o f the battles against the m e t h o d s o f introspection. we found that we can know most about the higher Levels and least about inanimate matter. He can stand as a typical example of a thinker who refuses to acknowledge the hierarchy of Levels of 118 . whereas if those sciences w o u l d progress. analysis o f verbal expression . . In the fourth field of knowledge. and everything is 'appearance'. and the advances they have made are the fruit of that proscription. hope and fear. and even pain. This he considers the only rational approach. there is no inner life at this level. From Pareto's point of view. But it is still strutting a b o u t in political e c o n o m y a n d m o r e blatantly still in s o c i o l o g y . ] 3 Here. as far as we know. simply because. can ascertain. It is quite another thing to banish it from the study of human nature and behaviour at the highest of the four Levels of Being. it is the other way round: we can know most about inanimate matter and least about human beings. [Italics are m i n e . joy and anguish. the lowest of the Four Levels of Being. e t y m o l o g y . like love and hate. it is imperative that they s h o u l d follow the example set by the physical sciences. the inner experience of other beings. He thereby excludes all inner experiences. It is one thing to banish 'inner' knowledge from the study of inanimate nature. which we are considering now. it is clear that Pareto is unwilling or unable to distinguish between the different Levels of Being. In o u r d a y the [latter] m e t h o d has been largely banished from the physical sciences. 'there is not the slightest difference between the laws of political economy or sociology and the laws of the other sciences'. which does not recognise differences of Level of Being. by theories. In the second field of knowledge.

a certain kind of'progress' is indeed obtained. as when the study of a great 119 . for purposes unknown at the level of physics and chemistry. Life. .for there is no inner experience. .or distort its inner experience . . . little if a n y . It is not simply the complexity at the higher Levels of Being that militates against the experimental method. When this point is missed and the attempt is made to press all sciences into the mould of physics. on the other hand. which rules supreme at the Level of inanimate matter. Certain sciences . . chiefly in the greater or lesser c o m p l e x i t y with w h i c h effects o f the various laws are intertwined. . but. no amount of interference can destroy its life . c a n a n d d o m a k e extensive use o f experiment. a kind of knowledge is accumulated which. it can only be transformed. more likely than not becomes a barrier to understanding and even a curse from which it is hard to escape.Being and therefore cannot see any difference between a stone and a man other than a difference in 'complexity': T h e differences that d o exist [lie] . . consciousness and selfawareness. A n o t h e r difference in scientific l a w s lies in the possibility of isolating their effects by e x p e r i m e n t . The lower takes the place of the higher. Certain others c a n use it but sparingly. . Experimentation is a valid and legitimate method of study only when it does not destroy the object under investigation. is at the higher Levels put into a subservient position. Inanimate matter cannot be destroyed. are damaged very easily and are almost invariably destroyed when the element of freedom inherent in these three powers is assumed to be non-existent. others. .for it has no life . it ceases to rule and is being employed by higher powers. s u c h as the social sciences. the fact that causality. however. much more importantly. 4 With inanimate matter we can indeed experiment as we like.

we find that we can divide them roughly into two groups: those that are primarily descriptive of what can actually be seen or otherwise experienced. the more mature the object of study. is widely considered to be the most mature of the sciences and also the most successful. as well as the social sciences and the so-called humanities. with chemistry and astronomy. It is not. we would have to say that. and this may be called 'maturity'. the less mature is the science studying it. Physics deals only with 'w'. with the result that most philosophies of science are found to relate only to the instructional sciences and to treat the descriptive ones as non-existing. y and 'z' can never be completed. in a severely restrictive manner.work of art confines itself to the study of the materials of which it is made. The life sciences. as we have already seen. There is indeed more maturity in a human being than in a lump of mineral. and chemistry of the latter. The difference between these two groups is seldom observed. We might give botany as an example of the former. If we look carefully at what the various sciences in field four actually do. That we have acquired more certain knowledge . and those that are primarily instructional of how certain systems work and can be made to produce predictable results. are thought to be less mature because they are beset by infinitely greater uncertainties. If 'maturity' were the word. Its programme of investigation can be completed.of a kind . It is certain that the study of 'x'. and it does so. Physics. 120 . just as the study of mechanics can be said to have been completed. as has often been asserted.about the latter than about the former cannot surprise us if we remember that if matter can be written m man has to be written m+x+y-\-z. as if the difference between 'descriptive' and 'instructional' signified merely degrees of maturity or stages in the development of a science.

F. S. C. Northrop claims that 'any empirical science In its normal healthy development begins with a more purely inductive emphasis . . . and then comes to maturity with deductively formulated theory in which formal logic and mathematics play a most significant part.' This is perfectly true of 'instructional' science; Northrop chooses geometry and physics as examples, which are instructional sciences par excellence; but it can never be true of descriptive sciences like botany, zoology and geography, not to mention the historical sciences, whether they deal with nature or with man. The distinction between descriptive and instructional sciences is similar to, but not identical with, that between 'sciences for understanding' and 'sciences for manipulation' which we discussed in an earlier chapter. A faithful description answers the question: 'What do I actually encounter?' An effective instruction answers a quite different question, namely: 'What must I do to obtain a certain result?' Needless to say, neither descriptive nor instructional sciences are mere accumulations of facts as presented by nature; in both cases, facts are 'purified' or 'idealised'; concepts are formed and theorems are put forward. A faithful description, however, is ruled by the concern, 'I must be careful not to leave out anything of significance', while an instruction is the more effective the more rigorously it excludes all factors that are not strictly necessary. People talk of 'Occam's razor', which is wielded to cut away everything that is superfluous from the point of view of obtaining results. We can say therefore that descriptive science is - or should be - primarily concerned with the whole truth; while instructional science is primarily concerned only with such parts or aspects of truth as are useful for manipulation. In both cases I use the word 'primarily' because this is not, and cannot be, a matter of an absolute difference. Instructions, to be effective, must be precise, distinct, beyond doubt or dispute. It is not good enough to in5

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struct, 'Take a small quantity of water at a temperature that is comfortably warm'. This may do for cooking but not for exact science. We must know precisely how much water and at precisely what temperature; there must be no room for 'subjective' interpretation. Ideally, therefore, instructional science is totally quantified, and qualities (such as the actual colour red, for instance) may play a part in it only when they 'correlate' with some quantitatively definable phenomenon (such as light waves of a certain frequency). Its means of advance are logic and mathematics. In the course of this advance it has been found that there is a strange and wonderful mathematical order in physical phenomena, and this has moved the minds of some of the most thoughtful modern physicists away from the crude materialism that ruled their science in the nineteenth century, and has made them aware of a transcendent reality. Even if traditional religion, which ascribed to God 'the kingdom, the power, and the glory', remained unacceptable to them, they could not fail to recognise supreme mathematical talent somewhere in the construction and management of the Universe. Thus there is, from this side, a significant movement towards closing the infinitely harmful rift between natural science and religion. Some of the most advanced modern physicists would even agree with Rene Guenon's claim that 'the whole of nature amounts to no more than a symbol of transcendent realities'. If some physicists now think of God as a great mathematician, this is a significant reflection of the fact that 'instructive science' deals only with the dead aspect of nature. Mathematics, after all, is far removed from life. At its heights it certainly manifests a severe kind of beauty and also a captivating elegance, which may even be taken as a sign of Truth; but, equally certainly, it has no warmth, none of life's messiness of growth, and decay, hope and despair, joy and suffering. This must never be overlooked or forgotten: physics and the other
6

instructional sciences limit themselves to the lifeless aspect of reality, and this is necessarily so if the aim and purpose of science is to produce predictable results. Life, and, even more so, consciousness and selfawareness, cannot be ordered about; they have, we might say, a will of their own, which is a sign of maturity. What we need to grasp at this point - and to inscribe on our 'map of knowledge' - is this: since physics and the other instructional sciences base themselves only on the dead aspect of nature, they cannot lead to philosophy, if philosophy is to give us guidance on what ''life' is all about. Nineteenth-century physics told us that life was a cosmic accident, without meaning or purpose. The best twentieth-century physicists take it all back and tell us that they deal only with specific, strictly isolated systems, showing how these systems work, or can be made to work, and that no general philosophical conclusions can (and should) ever be drawn from this knowledge. All the same, it is evident that the instructional sciences, even though they do not lead to guidance on how to conduct our lives, are shaping our lives, through the technologies derived from them. Whether these results are for good or for evil is a question entirely outside their province. In this sense, it is correct to say that these sciences are ethically neutral. It remains true, however, that there is no science without scientists, and that questions of good and evil, even if they lie outside the province of science, cannot be considered to lie outside the province of the scientist. It is no exaggeration today to talk about a crisis of (instructional) science. If it continues to be a juggernaut outside humanistic control there will be a reaction and revulsion against it which would not exclude the possibility of violence. Since the instructional sciences are not concerned with the whole truth but only with those parts or aspects 123

you will obtain Y. "When an idea works. it has been 'proved'. it is right that they should be judged exclusively by their results. the instructional sciences are not concerned with the whole truth but only with the minimum amount of truth required to make their in194 . and it must also be intelligible in terms of established scientific principles. if it does work. may be found to work. you should say.of truth through which results can be obtained. "When an idea is true. As I have emphasised before. reliable knowledge that has been 'scientifically proved'. it works". and that this unique ability gives it a status higher than that of any other human activity this claim on which the prestige of 'Science' is founded needs to be investigated with some care. there would be no pragmatic value in doing so. The claim that 'Science' brings forth 'Truth'. unshakeable. i. however.' If such an instruction does not work it is useless. it is true". It is a methodological requirement of the instructional sciences to ignore them.e. The idea of proof. Phenomena that are not intelligible in this sense are of no use to instructional science and therefore of no interest. pragmatism has the relative sterility of a hitand-miss method: all sorts of instructions. and therewith the idea of truth. taken in isolation.' In its purest form. lead to predicted results. but unless I have some idea of a principle or 'law' that makes a given system work my chances of extending the range of instructional knowledge are slim. certain. Pragmatism is the philosophy that holds that the only valid idea of truth is that it works. What is proof? We may hold a great many different theories: can any of them be 'proved'? We can see right away that it is possible to 'prove' a recipe or any other instruction that takes the form of: 'If you do X. in the instructional sciences is therefore twofold: the instruction must work. Such phenomena must not be allowed to call the established scientific principles into question. The pragmatist advises: 'It is irrational to say.

now. mathematics and logic. is the nature of proof in the descriptive sciences? The answer is inescapable: there can be classifications.but there can never be proof. on the contrary. observed regularities. Scientific proof can exist only in instructional science. and thereby to establish proof. we are therefore able to issue instructions on how to reach predetermined results . speculations. we can do ourselves. As far as the instructional sciences are concerned. theorems of different grades of plausibility . which means disregarding theories that 125 . with our minds or with our hands. because only that can be proved which. Equally.instructions that work . we are therefore able to issue instructions that work. which means disregarding unintelligible ones. It follows that proof in the instructional sciences suffers from the same limitations: It establishes that a certain set of instructions works. there can be no proof. but it does not establish that other instructions might not also work or that an entirely different set of scientific principles might not also meet the case. Our minds can do geometry. the pre-Copernican instructions on how to calculate the movements inside the solar system. As is well known. our hands are able to carry through a great variety of processes involving matter.and thereby to establish proof. Without 'doing' on the basis of instructions. within the limitations mentioned above. Nor can there be any quarrel with the restriction of the idea of truth to intelligible phenomena. and to theories of heuristic value.structions effective and reliable. for a long time produced much more accurate results than the post-Copernican instructions. where it has its proper place on the 'map of knowledge'. What. and that there is sufficient truth in the underlying scientific principles to allow it to work. this is precisely where pragmatism belongs. based on the theory that the sun moved around the earth. there can be no quarrel with pragmatism.

Applied to the descriptive sciences. It is therefore quite unproductive. i. arises when the methodological requirements of the instructive sciences are taken as scientific methodology per se. they lead to a methodology of error. and all we are concerned with is observable facts. the enhancement of man's competence and power in employing natural processes for his own purposes.even more so . as distinct from 'inner experience'.prove 'infertile' and fail to lead to an extension of instructional knowledge. however. Unrecognised and . There is nothing mysterious about this. there can be nothing but facts. Naturally. heuristic principles. and when we say 'facts' we imply that they can be recognised by an observer. to make a distinction between 'what we can know'' and 'what actually exists''.e. At this Level of Being. there is nothing but 'outer appearance'. and it is quite wrong to conclude that it implies a disappearance of the difference between observer and observed. When the modern physicist says: 'In our experiments we sooner or later encounter ourselves'.unrecognisable facts cannot and must not play any role in the theories of physics. he is merely stating the obvious. namely that the experimental results depend. when rigorously observed. These are methodological requirements which. or Occam's razor are not compatible with truthful description. not wholly but largely. produce 'progress'. The restrictions of pragmatism. consciousness and self-awareness. between epistemology and ontology. on the question that the physicist has posed by means of his experimental arrangement. as far as we know. i.e. (The importance of this point will be further emphasised when we come to consider the Doctrine of Evolutionism.) Physics and related instructional sciences deal with inanimate matter which. The Scholastic philosophers expressed this matter in a very simple way: all knowledge is obtained . is devoid of life. Endless trouble. at this Level.

take the phenomenon of life.'fertility' . To confuse these two is a very common error and causes a great deal of damage. The task of the descriptive sciences is to describe. conversely. and this recognition has led people to assert that 'there exists in all living things an intrinsic factor . The practitioners of these sciences know that the world is full of marvels which make all of man's designs.in accordance with the cognitive powers of the knower. theories or other productions appear as a child's fumblings. They are not attracted to 7 8 9 127 . We are told that Ernest Nagel.' So they talked about 'vitalism'. a philosopher of science. As Karl Stern puts it. The distinction between epistemology and ontology. no matter how improbable it may be on general grounds. and unmeasurable . a theory is considered true.that activates life. but because it does not serve as a guide in research and has no heuristic value. This tends to induce in many of them an attitude of scientific humility. inestimable. A statement is considered untrue not because it appears to be incompatible with experience. and. The interesting and significant point is that this argument against vitalism is not concerned with its truth but with its fertility.which is perfectly legitimate as a methodological principle is substituted for the idea of truth and expanded into a philosophy with universal claims. A methodological principle . becomes significant only as we move higher up the Chain of Being. simply because of 'superior heuristic value'. rang 'the death knell of vitalism' in 1951 by declaring vitalism a dead issue 'because of the infertility of vitalism as a guide in biological research and because of the superior heuristic value of alternative approaches'. 'methods become mentalities'.per modum cognescentis . or between 'what we can know' and ''what actually exists'.elusive. We can recognise the fact of life. But this commonsense view is not acceptable to the instructive sciences. As an example.

e. explanations . as well as life. The more comprehensive a theory is in the descriptive sciences. Such theories can never be 'scientifically proved' to be true.their disciplines by the Cartesian idea of making themselves 'masters and possessors of nature'. Only 'sighs' can be found and observed. intelligence or chance. signifying grades of significance or Levels of Being. a power of the human mind that transcends mere logic just as the computer programmer's mind transcends that of the computer. freedom or necessity. In the fourth field of knowledge there is only observation of movement and other kinds of material change. must be not only accurate but also graspable by the human mind. the one is as much an act of faith as the other. for theories that offer some suggestion as to how the facts may 'hang together'. and self-awareness cannot be sensually observed. so there is an inescapable need for classifications. A faithful description. 10 198 . and endless accumulations of facts cannot be grasped. This does not mean that all interpretations on the vertical scale. are equally true or untrue. consciousness. i. however. sensually experienced by man. Comprehensive theories in the descriptive sciences can be divided into two groups: those that see intelligence or meaning at work in what they describe. and those that see nothing but chance and necessity. To interpret them as signs of chance and necessity is as 'unscientific' as to interpret them as signs of supra-human intelligence. the more is its acceptance an act of faith. It is obvious that neither the former nor the latter can be 'seen'.in other words. meaning or purpose. the observer has to choose the grade of significance he is willing to attribute to them. generalisations. it means simply that their truth or untruth does not rest on scientific proof but on right judgment.

II

The distinctions that we are here discussing are of truly world-historical importance when we come to consider what is probably the most influential teaching of the modern age, the evolutionist doctrine. It is obvious that this doctrine cannot be classed with the instructional sciences: it belongs to the descriptive sciences. The question, therefore, is: 'What does it describe?' 'Evolution in biology', says Julian Huxley, 'is a loose and comprehensive term applied to cover any and every change occurring in the constitution of systematic units of animals and plants . . . ' That there has been change in the constitution of species of animals and plants in the past is amply attested by the fossils found in the earth's crust; with the help of radioactive dating, they have been put into historical sequence with a very high degree of scientific certainly. Evolution, as a generalisation within the descriptive science of biological change, can for this and also for other reasons be taken as established beyond any doubt whatever. The evolutionist doctrine, however, is a very different matter. It is not content to confine itself to a systematic description of biological change but purports to prove and explain it in much the same manner as proof and explanation is offered in the instructional sciences. This is a philosophical error of the most disastrous consequences. 'Darwin', we are told, 'did two things: he showed that evolution was in fact contradicting scriptural legends of creation and that its cause, natural selection, was automatic with no room for divine guidance or design.' It should be obvious to anyone capable of philosophical thinking that scientific observation as such can never do these 'two things'. 'Creation', 'divine guidance' and 'divine design' are completely outside scientific observation, and so would be their absence. Every animal or plant breeder knows beyond doubt that selection,
n 12

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including 'natural selection', produces change; it is therefore scientifically correct to say that 'natural selection has been proved to be an agent of evolutionary change' - we can, in fact, prove it by doing. But it is totally illegitimate to claim that the discovery of this mechanism - natural selection - proves that the cause of evolution 'was automatic with no room for divine guidance or design'. It can be proved that people get money by finding it in the street; but no one would consider this sufficient reason for the assumption that all incomes are earned in this way. The Doctrine of Evolutionism is generally presented in a manner that betrays, and offends against, all principles of scientific probity. It starts with the explanation of changes in living beings; but without warning, as it were, it suddenly purports to explain not only the development of consciousness, self-awareness, language and social institutions but also the origin of life itself. Imagination and speculation run riot; anything will do to explain everything. 'Evolution', we are told, 'is accepted by all biologists and natural selection is recognised as its cause . . .' As the origin of life is described as a 'major step in evolution', we are asked to believe that inanimate matter is a masterful practitioner of natural selection. For the Doctrine of Evolutionism, any possibility, no matter how remote, is perfectly acceptable as scientific proof that the thing actually happened:
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W h e n a s a m p l e a t m o s p h e r e o f h y d r o g e n , water, v a p o u r , a m m o n i a , and m e t h a n e w a s subjected t o electric discharges and ultra-violet light, large n u m b e r s o f organic c o m p o u n d s . . . were o b t a i n e d by a u t o m a t i c synthesis. This proved that a prebiological synthesis o f c o m p l e x c o m p o u n d s w a s p o s s i b l e .
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On this basis we are expected to believe that living beings suddenly made their appearance by pure chance and, having made their appearance, were able to maintain themselves in the general chaos: 130

It is n o t u n r e a s o n a b l e t o s u p p o s e that life originated in a watery ' s o u p ' o f pre-biological o r g a n i c c o m p o u n d s a n d that living o r g a n i s m s a r o s e later by s u r r o u n d i n g quantities o f these c o m p o u n d s by m e m b r a n e s that m a d e t h e m into 'cells'. This is usually c o n s i d e r e d the starting p o i n t o f organic ('Darwinian') evolution.
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One can just see it, can't one - organic compounds getting together and surrounding themselves by membranes (nothing could be simpler for these clever compounds), and lo! there is the cell, and once the cell has been born there is nothing to stop the emergence of Shakespeare, although it will obviously take a bit of time. There is therefore no need to speak of miracles - or to admit any lack of knowledge. It is one of the great paradoxes of our age that people claiming the proud title of 'scientist' dare to offer such undisciplined and reckless speculations as contributions to scientific knowledge - and that they get away with it! The late Dr Karl Stern, a psychiatrist with great insight, has commented thus:
If w e present, for the s a k e o f a r g u m e n t , the theory o f e v o l u t i o n in a m o s t scientific f o r m u l a t i o n , w e h a v e t o say s o m e t h i n g like t h i s : 'At a certain m o m e n t o f time the temperature o f the Earth w a s such that it b e c a m e m o s t favourable for the aggregation o f c a r b o n a t o m s a n d o x y g e n with the n i t r o g e n - h y d r o g e n c o m b i n a t i o n , and that from r a n d o m occurrences o f large clusters m o l e c u l e s occurred w h i c h were m o s t favourably structured for the c o m i n g a b o u t o f life, and from that point it went o n t h r o u g h vast stretches o f time, until through processes o f natural selection a being finally occurred which is c a p a b l e o f c h o o s i n g love over hate a n d justice over injustice, o f writing poetry like that o f D a n t e , c o m p o s i n g music like that o f M o z a r t , a n d m a k i n g drawings like t h o s e o f L e o n a r d o . Of course, s u c h a v i e w o f c o s m o g e n e s i s is crazy. A n d I d o not at all m e a n crazy in the sense o f slangy invective but rather in the technical m e a n i n g o f psychotic. Indeed such a view has m u c h in c o m m o n w i t h certain aspects o f schizophrenic t h i n k i n g .
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The fact remains, however, that this kind of thinking is being offered as objective science not only to biologists 131

Evolutionism as currently presented has no basis in science. for a time. the doctrinaire propaganda which insists that scientific knowledge of evolution leaves no room for any higher faith continues unabated. and books 17 18 m . from political standpoints. 'Let us see how far we can explain phenomena by observable causes' is an eminently sensible and. turns methodology into a faith that excludes. and all contradicting observations have to be either ignored or interpreted in such a way that The Faith is upheld. The whole of nature. in fact. nor purpose. many of whose high priests do not even believe in what they proclaim. all over the world. is taken as the product of chance and necessity and nothing else. ex hypothesi. It is not useful for it to postulate the existence of causative agents. Evolutionism. who are outside all possibilities of direct observations. there is neither meaning. The article on 'Evolution' in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (1975) finishes with a section entitled 'The acceptance of evolution'. very fruitful methodological principle. nor intelligence in it a 'tale told by an idiot. Despite widespread disbelief. This is The Faith. the possibility of all higher grades of significance. which obviously includes mankind. meaning and purpose of human existence on Earth. It is the task of science to observe and to report on its observations.' Who would suspect. virtually all children are subjected to indoctrination along the lines described. 'intelligences' or 'designers'. claiming that 'objections to evolution have come from theological and.but to everybody eager to find out the truth about the origin. It can be described as a peculiarly degraded religion. that the most serious objections have been raised by numerous biologists and other scientists of unimpeachable credentials? It is evidently thought unwise to mention them. when reading this. signifying nothing'. Counter-arguments are simply ignored. however. like 'Creator'. and in particular that.

. Millions of our contemporaries have chosen evolutionism 19 133 . is the most extreme product of the materialistic utilitarianism of the nineteenth century. that m a n y p e o p l e still contrive t o live o u t their lives in a tepid a n d precarious c o m b i n a t i o n o f religion a n d e v o l u t i o n i s m . It is true. purporting to explain all and everything solely and exclusively by natural selection for adaptation and survival. Martin Lings observes: There c a n b e little d o u b t that in the m o d e r n w o r l d m o r e cases o f l o s s o f religious faith are t o be traced t o t h e theory o f e v o l u t i o n as their i m m e d i a t e c a u s e than t o anything else. that is. without a religious faith. But for t h e m o r e logically m i n d e d . improbabilities and atrocities. there is n o o p t i o n but t o c h o o s e b e t w e e n the t w o .just as winning a prize in a lottery cannot elicit admiration. surprising as it m a y s e e m . Chance and necessity and the utilitarian mechanism of natural selection may produce curiosities. even a kind of hoax. everything is much of a muchness. . even though some things are more complex than others . but nothing that can be admired as an achievement . Evolutionism. It has destroyed all faiths that pull mankind up and has substituted a faith that pulls mankind down. Evolutionism is not science. are not considered fit for inclusion in the bibliography on the subject. For it is impossible for any civilisation to survive without a faith in meanings and values transcending the utilitarianism of comfort and survival . .in other words. b e t w e e n the d o c t r i n e o f the fall o f m a n a n d the 'doctrine' o f the rise o f m a n .such as Douglas Dewar's The Transformist Illusion. a n d t o reject altogether the o n e not c h o s e n . Nil admirari. which offers an overwhelming refutation of evolutionism on purely scientific grounds. The inability of twentieth-century thought to rid itself of this imposture is a failure that may well cause the collapse of Western civilisation.just by chance. There is nothing 'higher' and nothing 'lower'. it is science fiction. It is a hoax that has succeeded too well and has imprisoned modern man in what looks like an irreconcilable conflict between 'science' and 'religion'.

This is not the place for a detailed exposition of these findings. The mole134 . produces increasing amounts of evidence that totally belie the materialistic utilitarianism of the nineteenth century. conscientious and imaginative observation of appearances. he will be shouted down 'and reduced to silence by all sorts of scientific jargon'. It amounts simply to this: descriptive science becomes unscientific and illegitimate when it indulges in comprehensive explanatory theories which can be neither verified nor falsified by experiment. Yale University School of Medicine. which offers nothing but observations of appearances.o n the grounds that e v o l u t i o n is a 'scientifically proved truth'. however. unless he h a p p e n s t o be a scientist. the gulf b e t w e e n t h e m and religion is w i d e n e d still further by the fact that the religious m a n . professor of anatomy (now emeritus). is unable t o m a k e a bridge b e t w e e n himself a n d t h e m by producing the right initial a r g u m e n t . as m a n y o f t h e m were taught it at s c h o o l . 2 0 If it is not on the 'scientific plane'. in What we can say at this stage of our exposition is that there is no possibility of deriving a valid faith from the study of the fourth field of knowledge alone. His 'adventure in science' began in 1935 and continued for forty years: a search for the mysterious factor which organises inanimate material into living beings and then maintains them. The truth of the matter. I can only mention again the conclusions reached by the late Dr Wilder Penfield. it can be shown that the ever more precise. by the researches of Professor Harold Saxton Burr. w h i c h m u s t be o n the scientific plane. which are supported. is that the initial argument must not be on the scientific plane. meticulous. such as the best of modern scientists engage in. in a most interesting way. Such theories are not 'science' but 'faith'. All the same. it must be philosophical.

S o the fields o f life offer purely electronic. O n the c o n trary. all forms . but the chemistry o f a living system d o e s not d e t e r m i n e the functional properties o f a living s y s t e m any m o r e than c h a n g i n g the gas m a k e s a R o l l s . imply p u r p o s e . chemistry is o f great i m p o r t a n c e . the 'fields o f life' are o f the s a m e nature as the simpler fields k n o w n t o m o d e r n physics a n d o b e d i e n t t o the s a m e laws.R o y c e o u t o f a F o r d . T h o u g h a l m o s t inconceivably c o m p l i c a t e d . subject to its inflexible laws a n d a participant in the destiny a n d p u r p o s e o f the U n i v e r s e . W h e n w e meet a friend w e h a v e n o t seen for six m o n t h s there is not o n e m o l e c u l e in his face w h i c h w a s there w h e n w e last s a w h i m . A l l protein in t h e b o d y . but the 1 ^ . 2 1 Professor Burr and his collaborators discovered that man .cules and cells of the human body are constantly disintegrated and rebuilt from new material. Like the fields o f physics. e m b e d d e d in its all-powerful fields. evolved through natural selection. because this is the gasoline that m a k e s the buggy g o . . Professor Burr's dethronement of chemistry and therewith also of biochemistry. T h e chemistry provides the energy. h e is a n integral part o f the C o s m o s . with all its DNA-mythology of molecules becoming information systems. O r g a n i s a t i o n and direction. instrumental e v i d e n c e that m a n is n o accident. the direct o p p o s i t e o f c h a n c e . 22 The idea that the marvels of living nature are nothing but complex chemistry. in fact. t o o .and. the protein is r e n e w e d m o r e frequently. . is thereby effectively destroyed. 'To be sure. although the organising power of fields remains a total mystery. is 'turned over' every six m o n t h s a n d in s o m e o r g a n s such as the liver.are ordered and controlled by electrodynamic fields which can be measured and mapped with precision. they are part o f the organisation o f the U n i v e r s e a n d are influenced by the vast forces o f space. they h a v e organising a n d directing qualities w h i c h h a v e been revealed by m a n y t h o u s a n d s o f e x p e r i m e n t s . for e x a m p l e .' says Professor Burr. . is certainly a very big step in the right direction. Like the fields o f physics.

and that the descriptive sciences are therefore nothing but instructional sciences in their early stage of immaturity. the rash utilitarianmaterialistic doctrines of the nineteenth century are crumbling away one by one. to an instruction as to how to obtain results. bent on making themselves the 'masters and possessors of nature'. as observational science becomes more refined and accurate. consciousness and self-awareness. why bother with them? The modern Cartesians.for the instructional sciences.as it has increasingly tended to be since Descartes . as we have shown before. i.the scientific . 2 3 It is highly significant that.very good sense . they methodically exclude all evidence of forces deriving from the higher Levels of Being and confine themselves to the dead aspect of the Universe. both at Basle University. If this line of argument were fully accepted .e. like the zoologist Adolf Portmann and the botanist Heinrich Zoller (to name the two from whom I have benefited the most). C. Therefore they are o f prime i m p o r t a n c e in u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e g r o w t h a n d d e v e l o p m e n t o f all living t h i n g s .d y n a m i c field d e t e r m i n e t h e direction in w h i c h energy flows w i t h i n t h e living s y s t e m . Northrop. there are now quite a number of scientists. S. in spite of the fact that most scientists insist on limiting their work to the fourth field of knowledge. If it were not. whereby. who have had the courage to break out of the prison walls built by the modern Cartesians and to show us the kingdom and the power and the glory of a mysteriously meaningful Universe. that description is of value only if it leads to action. if only because the higher powers. may answer. are beyond 'instruction': they do the instructing! But it makes no sense at all for the descriptive sciences: what is the value of a description if it omits the most interesting aspects and features of the object to be described? Happily. This methodical self-limitation makes sense . To do so is the function of the descriptive sciences. life.electrical p h e n o m e n a o f the e l e c t r o . with F.

and also when cultivations take place in one field with instruments and methodologies that are appropriate only in quite another field.that. A few examples may be given of what this analysis helps us to understand. The main purpose of showing the four fields separately is to make the unity appear in its plenitude. on the other hand. ideas derivable only from inner experience (fields one and two). Similarly. it is necessary to relate the four fields of knowledge to the four Levels of Being. (1) The unity of knowledge is destroyed when one or several of the four fields of knowledge remain uncultivated. If they cannot penetrate to meaning and purpose.picture of the world would necessarily be one of desolation and abomination. knowledge itself is nevertheless a unity. IV The four fields of knowledge can be clearly distinguished. among many others. (3) The instructional sciences do well to confine their attention exclusively to field four. i. but little can be learned about human nature by anyone who confines his studies to the fourth field of knowledge. they remain sterile and almost useless for humanity . Cayce and Therese Neumann.e. betray their calling when they ape the instructional sciences and confine themselves to the observation of appearances. unless certain higher sensitivities have been developed as in the cases of people like Lorber.except that they may be useful as producers of 137 . We have already touched on this in passing . for instance. and civilisation would become the same: it would die. the descriptive sciences. the field of appearances. little if anything can normally be learned about the mineral kingdom from studies of one's own inner experiences. since only in this field of appearances can mathematical precision be obtained. (2) To obtain clarity.

it must be balanced by an equally intensive study of field three. 138 . one's own inner experiences. To obtain indirect access is one of the most important tasks of man. The opposite would be more nearly true: that a man who fails to pursue self-knowledge is and remains a danger to society. which hardly deserves the noble name of science. (4) Self-knowledge.'inventories'. social knowledge. so that we learn to know ourselves as ethers know us. This point is all too often overlooked. that is the knowledge needed for the establishment of harmonious relationships between people: we have no direct access to field two . which shows that it is a grave error to blame a man who pursues selfknowledge for 'turning his back on society'.the inner experiences of other beings. remains worse than useless if based solely on a study of field one. for he will tend to misunderstand everything that other people say or do and remain blissfully unaware of many of the things he does himself. This indirect access can be obtained only through self-knowledge. because of a failure to distinguish between field one and field three. seen as a social being. (5) Finally. so universally praised as the most valuable.

mathematics. dealing with problems. many of them difficult. if not all. all problems can and will be solved.its four Levels of Being. like humans. Unsolved problems tend to cause a kind of existential anguish. third. and part of the modern battle against anguish is the Cartesian approach: 'Deal only with ideas that are distinct. quantification. Quantification and cost-benefit analysis are said to be the answer to most. Difficult circumstances present problems. measurement and exact observation. we dealt with learning about the world and about oneself . of progress. this is the road. above all else. incidentally is the title of a difficult and important book by Rene Guenon. to contend and keep level with all sorts of circumstances.10 Two Types of Problem i First. precise and certain beyond any reasonable doubt. To live means to cope.his equipment wherewith to meet the world: to what extent is it adequate for this encounter? And then. we dealt with 'the World' . although where we are dealing with somewhat complex beings. with 'Man' .which.the four fields of knowledge. if only we abandon all sentiment and other irrationalities. It remains for us to look at what it means to live in this world. or 1 139 . the only road. but it is certainly so in the modern world. second. therefore: rely on geometry. We live in the age of the Reign of Quantity . Whether this has always been so may well be questioned.' This is the way. and it might be said that living means. of our problems. one of the few significant metaphysicians of our time. the only way (we are told) to solve problems.

an answer that turns out to be amazingly stable in time. Everything takes time. let us look at solved problems.say.whoever you are . and there are more scientists and similar people in the world today than there have been in all previous generations added together . Various solutions are offered. The words 'as yet' are important. in principle. the more . We know there are solved problems and unsolved problems. a design emerges which is simply 'the answer' a bicycle. Our civilisation is uniquely expert in problem-solving. aren't we running out of problems?' But it would be easy to reassure him: we have more and bigger problems now than any previous generation could boast. do not present a problem.) This extraordinary situation might lead us to inquire into the nature of 'problems'. Why is this answer so stable? Simply because it complies with the laws of the Universe . What is needed is 14ft . (I could imagine someone becoming slightly anxious at this point and inquiring: 'If this is so. it may still take a little time for sufficient data to be assembled and analysed. like societies. They may be classified into 'convergent problem solved' and 'convergent problem as yet unsolved'.complex systems. we may feel. I propose to call problems of this nature convergent problems. and there simply has not yet been time enough to get around to solving them. even problems of survival.the answers converge. for there is no reason. manpowered means of transportation. how to make a two-wheeled. why they should not be solved some day. Take a design problem .laws at the level of inanimate nature. which gradually and increasingly converge until. The more intelligently you study them. The former. but as regards the latter: are there problems that are not merely unsolved but insoluble? First. finally.and they are not wasting their time contemplating the marvels of the Universe or trying to acquire self-knowledge: they are solving problems.

more time.' 141 . more talent. life presents us with a very big problem not the technical problem of two-wheeled transport. Some of them. having gone into the problem with the utmost care. more logical and straightforward. The young plant will develop in accordance with its own laws of being. truer. until some of them appear to be the exact opposites of the others. which are far more subtle than any human being can fathom. We cannot escape it. however. we have to face it. The educator is like a good gardener. who is concerned to make available good. says this: 'Education is nothing more or less than the provision of a facility. Now. the more they diverge. tell us this: Education is the process by which existing culture is passed on to the next generation. fertile soil in which a young plant can grow strong roots and then extract the nutrients it requires. healthy. Nothing could be simpler. and we ask a number of equally intelligent people to advise us. maybe. education calls for the establishment of authority for the teachers and for discipline and obedience on the part of the pupils. It also happens. When it is a matter of passing on existing knowledge from the knowers to the learners. more money for research and development (R&D) and. the more they are clarified and logically developed. Those who have (or are supposed to have) knowledge and experience teach. and those who as yet lack knowledge and experience learn. on the basis of a very clear intuition. there must be discipline among the learners to receive what is being offered. This is quite clear. and will develop best when it has the greatest possible freedom to choose exactly the nutrient it needs. In other words. They do not converge. and implies that there must be a situation of authority and discipline. another group of our advisers. On the contrary. but the human problem of how to educate our children. that a number of highly able people set out to study a problem and come up with answers that contradict one another. For example.

If our first group of advisers is right. more of it will be better. 'Look here. How do they do it? One way to find out is to ask them.the greatest possible freedom. . Our second group of advisers. The school would become a wilderness. Freedom and discipline/obedience . It is either the one or the other.Education. more of it will be an even better thing. it demonstrates that life is bigger than logic. some educators are better than others. argues that in education freedom is 'a good thing'.' Love. 142 . No compromise is possible. and it does not yield to ordinary. and this line of logic leads to the conclusion that perfect discipline and obedience would be a perfect thing . The answers tend to diverge. its opposite cannot be true at the same time. we have a very typical and very basic problem. in other words. but of freedom . and perfect freedom would produce perfect education. more freedom will be an even better thing. . There is 'freedom' versus 'discipline and obedience'. If we explained to them our philosophical difficulties they might show signs of irritation with this intellectual approach. 'straight-line' logic. calls for the establishment not of discipline and obedience.' they might say. There is no solution . discipline and obedience are 'a good thing'. however. and it can be argued with perfect logic that if something is 'a good thing'. and the school would become a prison. on the other hand. The point is: You must love the little horrors. 'What is the best method of education?' in short presents a divergent problem par excellence. the more logical and consistent they are. Here.here is a perfect pair of opposites. If so. in any real situation. 'all this is far too clever for me. Logic does not help us because it insists that if a thing is true. the greater is the divergence. It is either ' D o as you like' or 'Do as I tell you'.and yet. as seen by this second group. even a kind of lunatic asylum. It also insists that. if a thing is good. which I call a divergent problem.

where the most frequently encountered pair of opposites is 'freedom' and 'equality'. the strong will prosper and the weak will suffer.fraternite. Education presents the classical example of a divergent problem. It can be achieved. requires the curtailment of freedom . the same level at which the opposites exist and at which their reconciliation is impossible.these are faculties of a higher order than those required for the implementation of any policy of discipline or of freedom. to have them available not simply as occasional impulses but permanently: that requires a high level of self-awareness. understanding. in short. which in fact means freedom versus equality. left to themselves. i. but only by individual persons mobilising their own higher forces and faculties. To mobilise these higher faculties or forces. liberte versus egalite. and indeed is often being achieved. I do not know who coined the slogan of the French Revolution. and so of course does politics. The enforcement of equality. 'How do you make people become better?' This question is constantly being asked. on the other hand. The moment we recognise that there are two different * Some people say it was Louis-Claude de Saint Martin (1743-1803) w h o signed his works Le Philosophe inconnu. beyond the level of manipulation. participation mystique. he added a third factor or force .empathy. equality versus freedom. and there will be no trace of equality. compassion . How do we recognise it as coming from a higher level than liberte or egalitel These can be instituted by legislative action backed by force. To the pair of opposites. brotherliness which comes from a higher level. 143 . but fraternite is a human quality beyond the reach of institutions. the U n k n o w n Philosopher. becoming better people. and it merely shows that the essential point has been missed altogether.* he must have been a person of rare insight. irreconcilable in ordinary logic. The idea of making people better belongs to the level of manipulation. For if matters are left free.unless something intervenes from a higher level.e. and that makes a great educator.

some very interesting questions arise in our minds. astronomy. Whoever makes use of the solution can remain relatively passive. We can say. or in games like chess. Let us begin then with the question of recognition. they can be finalised and written down in the form of an instruction. the problem ceases to be convergent. higher forces.the challenge is gone. consciousness and self-awareness. as already mentioned. chemistry. to become increasingly precise. where manipulation can proceed without let or hindrance and where man can make himself 'master and possessor'. getting something for nothing. With a convergent problem.'convergent' and 'divergent' problems . the problem ceases to be interesting: a solved problem is a dead problem. The moment we are dealing with problems involving 144 . as it were. because the subtle. that convergence may be expected with regard to any problem that does not involve life. which means in the fields of physics. Wherever these higher forces intervene to a significant extent. therefore. the work is done. are not there to complicate matters. the answers suggested for its solution tend to converge. consciousness or self-awareness. which we have labelled life. Convergent problems relate to the dead aspect of the Universe. Once the answer has been found. in abstract subjects like geometry and mathematics. he is a recipient. such as: How can I recognise whether a problem belongs to the one type or the other ? What is it that constitutes the difference? What is it that constitutes the solution of a problem in each of the two types? Is there 'progress'? Can solutions be accumulated? The attempt to deal with questions of this kind will undoubtedly lead to many further explorations.types of problems with which we have to deal on our journey through life . To make use of the solution does not require any higher faculties or abilities .

to however modest a degree. we see the most universal pair of opposites. it is pairs of opposites that make a problem divergent. while the forces of decay and dissolution can be contained only through some kind of order. but nothing at all about matters outside and beyond it. the element of freedom and inner experience. the very hallmark of life: growth and decay. but an isolated system posing convergent. consciousness. is what we might call 'the laboratory approach'. There is nothing wrong with 'killing' a convergent problem. The methodology of problem-solving. for it relates to what remains after life. It consists of eliminating all factors that cannot be strictly controlled or. What remains is no longer a part of real life with all its unpredictabilities. we must expect divergence. while the absence of pairs of opposites (of this basic character) ensures convergence. self-awareness. These basic pairs of opposites Growth versus Decay and Freedom versus Order are encountered wherever there is life. for there enters. I have said that to solve a problem is to kill it. accurately measured and 'allowed for'. consciousness and self-awareness have already been eliminated. proves something about the isolated system.) Divergent problems cannot be killed. problems. As we have seen. Looked at from another angle. Growth thrives on freedom (I mean healthy growth pathological growth is really a form of decay). But can or should . they cannot be solved in the sense of establishing the 'correct formula'. The solution of a convergent problem. at the same time. at least. as can easily be observed. and therefore in principle soluble. 145 .the higher Levels of Being.divergent problems be killed? (The words 'final solution' still have a terrible ring in the ears of my generation.

not simply as occasional impulses (which they are at the lower level) but as a regular and reliable resource.They can however be transcended. it has been noted . which implies that without experience there is no evidence. Here is a family. but they cease to be opposites at the higher level. understanding and empathy. they lie down together peacefully like the lion and the lamb in the study of Saint Hieronymus (who on Durer's famous picture represents 'the higher level'). Our logical mind does not like them: it generally operates on the either-or or yes-no principle. where self-awareness plays its proper role. let us say. So. and as this exclusiveness inevitably leads to an ever more obvious loss of realism and truth.are opposites at the level of ordinary life. become available.like love and compassion . is that experience has to be admitted as evidence. and every time there is a feeling of'making up 2 146 . Opposites cease to be opposites. at any one time it wishes to give its exclusive allegiance to either the one or the other of the pair. How can opposites cease to be opposites when a 'higher force' is present? How is it that liberty and equality cease to be mutually antagonistic and become 'reconciled' when brotherliness is present? These are not logical but existential questions. It is then that such higher forces as love and compassion. the really human level. The main concern of existentialism. like a computer. the mind suddenly changes sides. A pair of opposites like freedom and order . freedom prevails. That opposites are transcended when 'higher forces' . It swings like a pendulum from one opposite to the other. often without even noticing it. It is important for us to become fully aware of these pairs of opposites. and it does not destroy equality because brotherliness controls the use of the superior power possessed by the big boys.intervene is not a matter to be argued in terms of logic: it has to be experienced in one's actual existence (hence: 'existentialism'). with two big boys and two small girls.

The pairs of opposites. but they provoke. public interest and private interest. A refusal to accept the divergency of divergent problems causes these higher faculties to remain dormant and to wither away. order and freedom. stimulate and sharpen the higher human faculties without which man is nothing but a clever animal. N o real understanding is possible without awareness of these pairs of opposites. In the life of societies there is the need for justice and also the need for mercy. 'is cruelty. Man's life can thus be seen and understood as a succession of divergent problems which are inevitably encountered and have to be coped with in some way.can reconcile these opposites. Divergent problems offend the logical mind which wishes to remove tension by coming down on one side or the other. tradition and innovation.a very clear identification of a divergent problem.' said Thomas Aquinas. or else the mind becomes rigid and lifeless. put tension into the world. 'Justice without mercy. growth and decay: everywhere society's health depends on the simultaneous pursuit of mutually opposed activities or aims. The problem cannot be solved. 3 147 . of which freedom and order and growth and decay are the most basic. a tension that sharpens man's sensitivity and increases his self-awareness.one's mind afresh'. The adoption of a final solution means a kind of death sentence for man's humanity and spells either cruelty or dissolution. which. as it were. mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution' . Justice is a denial of mercy. and mercy is a denial of justice. and when this happens the 'clever animal' is more likely than not to destroy itself. They are refractory to mere logic and discursive reason. Similarly. or generally both. fixing itself on one side of the pair of opposites and feeling that now 'the problem has been solved'. Only a higher force wisdom . permeate everything man does. societies need stability and change. planning and laissez-faire. but wisdom can transcend it.

If art is to have any real value. These two. . Today. we need not be so timid. the communication of Truth. as plants are nourished a n d g r o w in suitable soils. of feeling. as far as art is concerned. which are suprarational. if it is t o n o u r i s h a n d m a k e the best part o f us g r o w . All traditional cultures have seen life as a school and have recognised. We can obtain reliable bearings by relating art to the human being. as it were. the essentiality of this teaching force. art helps us to develop our higher faculties. if it aims primarily to affect our will we may call it propaganda. and this is all that matters. Let us a d m i t that if w e are t o 148 . Coomaraswamy. or was ever satisfied with just these two. we can recognise as a pair of opposites. it is t o the understanding and not t o fine feelings that a n appeal m u s t be m a d e . Invariably he strove to communicate truth. When they are transcended by. .and constitute. a strain-and-stretch apparatus to develop the Whole Man. w h o m w e never m e n t i o n in polite society. Entertainment and propaganda by themselves do not give us power but exert power over us. the power of truth. and we have no difficulty is sensing that something is missing. n At this point. there seems to be nothing at all to go by and anything will do. thinking and willing. I n o n e respect the public is right. and that means to develop man's supra-logical faculties. and made subservient to. No great artist has ever turned his back on either entertainment or propaganda. as it were. If art aims primarily to affect our feelings we may call it entertainment. in one way or another. says Ananda K. Who dares to say 'boo' to anything claiming to be 'art ahead of its time' ? However. it may be appropriate to say a few words about art. entertainment and propaganda. L e t us tell t h e m the painful truth that m o s t o f these (great) w o r k s o f art are a b o u t G o d . which consists. it a l w a y s w a n t s t o k n o w w h a t a w o r k o f art is ' a b o u t ' . by appealing to man's higher intellectual faculties.

. 5 6 A h ! h o w hard a thing it is t o tell w h a t this w i l d a n d r o u g h a n d difficult w o o d w a s . at the height of his powers and outward success. suddenly realises that he is not at the height at all but. Dante looks up and sees the mountain. but a n e d u c a t i o n in p h i l o s o p h y . and a wisdom to be applied to everyday matters* [ M y italics a d d e d . ] All great works of art are 'about God' in the sense of showing to the perplexed human being the path. Having 'found himself. for w h o m it means ontology and theology and the map of life. We may again remind ourselves of one of the greatest examples of such art. in P l a t o ' s a n d Aristotle's s e n s e o f t h e w o r d . 'The whole work'.' The pilgrim .Dante himself .nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita. He makes a 149 . Dante wrote to be read by ordinary men and women. providing a guide for the perplexed. he explains. s o full w a s I o f s l u m b e r at that m o m e n t w h e n I a b a n d o n e d t h e true w a y . the way up the mountain. He cannot remember how he ever got there. . that is. on the contrary. 'was undertaken not for a speculative but a practical end . c l o t h e d already w i t h t h e rays o f t h e planet [the sun] w h i c h leads m a n aright a l o n g every p a t h . 'in a dark wood. and lead them into a state of felicity. Dante's Divine Comedy.offer a n e d u c a t i o n in a g r e e m e n t w i t h t h e i n n e r m o s t n a t u r e a n d e l o q u e n c e o f [these great w o r k s o f art] t h e m s e l v e s . that this will n o t be a n e d u c a t i o n in sensibility. w h i c h in t h o u g h t r e n e w s m y fear! S o bitter that d e a t h is little m o r e . the purpose of the whole is to remove those living in this life from a state of misery. the very mountain he has meant to climb. not by people with sufficient private means to be mainly interested in fine feelings. where the right way was lost'.

nay. very nimble. s h e brought o n m e s o m u c h heaviness. To treasure art simply for its beauty is to miss the point. with a spotted coat . and so Dante accepts Virgil: T h o u by thy w o r d s has s o d i s p o s e d m y heart with desire o f g o i n g . in the person of Virgil. hindered s o m y road that I often turned to go back. N o w g o . Only the truth can be accepted as leader. as he has sunk too low for religion to reach him. that I lost hope . lord and master. True art is the intermediary between man's ordinary nature and his higher potentialities. The whole of great literature deals with divergent problems.a lion.even the Bible 150 .new attempt. and so she asks Art. to which he had got used to yielding. a n d thou master. . t h o u lord. but he finds his way barred by three animals: first at the beginning o f the steep [by] a she-leopard. To read such literature . which is what we really wish to do but keep forgetting. w i t h the fear that c a m e f r o m sight o f her. to guide him out of 'this savage place'. that I have returned to m y first intent.all the pleasant temptations of life. w h i c h w a s c o v e r e d with a spotted c o a t . and a she-wolf w h i c h in her leanness s e e m e d laden with all cravings. fearful in his pride. A n d she did not w i t h d r a w from before m y face. however is seen 'from heaven' by Beatrice. for o n e s o l e will is in us b o t h : t h o u leader. a n d ere n o w h a d m a d e m a n y folk to live forlorn. light a n d very n i m b l e . The true function of art is 'so to dispose the heart with desire of going' 'up the mountain'. Dante. who wants to help him. . There is worse to come . Light. She cannot do so herself. that we 'return to our first intent'.

where happiness rarely implies anything more than comfort and excitement. 151 . in Many people today call for a new moral basis of society. and the question of what is 'The Good' reduces itself to Darwinian questions of adaptation and survival and the utilitarianism of 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number'.' says the Kular nava Tantra. imagination. there is no humanity. which do not call for new inventions but for the development of man's higher faculties and their application. as if its main purpose were poetry. insisting that it is not good enough to decide that virtue is good and vice is bad (which they are!). of which both Dante and Shakespeare are outstanding representatives. similarly. All traditional wisdom. When they say 'new'. but if virtue is merely external and lacks inner power. 'Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall. they seem to forget that they are dealing with divergent problems. transcends ordinary. self-awareness. 'By what men fall by that they rise. as distinct from the animal kingdom. men rise through virtue. it merely makes them complacent and they fail to develop. Normally. what by ordinary standards is sin may set in motion the all-important process of development. calculating logic and defines 'The Good' as that which helps us to become truly human by developing our higher faculties . Without them. To quote an example from the Eastern traditions. that the important thing is whether a person rises to his higher potentialities or falls away from them.simply 'as literature'.which are conditional on.' says Shakespeare in Measure for Measure. is to turn the sublime into the trivial. a new foundation of ethics. artistic expression with a specially apt use of words and similes. and also part of. if its shock causes a man to awake his higher faculties which had previously been asleep.

the specifically human faculty of selfawareness remains until the end of their lives only a 1 S7 . how could I be expected to take any interest in it? If our guide. and what one person has done henceforth shines like a light in darkness as a capability of man. right or wrong. however.In fact. people do not accept these 'reductions'. they go on asking 'What is " G o o d " ? What is "Goodness"? What is "Evil" ? What is "Sin" ? What must I do to live a worthwhile life?' In the whole of philosophy. he seems to be capax universi. even in full maturity. we can clearly perceive that it is open-ended. they embark upon an investigation into ethics without any prior clarification of the purpose of human life on Earth. virtuous or evil. there is no subject in greater disarray than ethics. being well adapted. Even when. Let us recapitulate. Anyone asking for the bread of guidance on how to conduct himself. without an idea of purpose: good for what ?' To ask the question of purpose has been called 'the naturalistic fallacy' .at least four great Levels of Being. our annotated Map of Life. There is no discernible limit to what man can d o . The human being. If a thing is said to be good but no one can tell me what it is good for. At the human level. The first Great Truth we have discussed is the hierarchic structure of the World . even if no second person is ever found able to do it again. it is worthless. will not even receive a stone but just a torrent of 'opinions'. With very few exceptions. cannot show us where The Good is situated and how it can be reached. although some are undoubtedly more 'finished' than others. and turning to the professors of ethics. with new powers added on the upward path.virtue is its own reward! None of the great teachers of mankind would have been satisfied with such an evasion. It is obviously impossible to decide what is good or bad. they survive with plenty of comfort and excitement. With most people. is obviously not a finished product. as the ancients used to say.

enlightened.germ of a faculty. with some sense. most thoroughly integrated. a hierarchic structure of gifts inside us. not surprisingly. A central part of this pursuit is the cultivation of the four fields of knowledge. so under-developed that it rarely becomes active. according to traditional teachings we can and should develop threefold. the higher the gift the more rarely is it to be found in a highly developed form. faculty or power within us. and which we should on no account bury in the ground for safekeeping. and. This is precisely the 'talent' that. and then only for short moments at a time. free 'person' we can conceive. Instruction on how to cultivate self-knowledge of this dual kind is the main content of all traditional religious 153 . therefore. from the lifeless mineral to the selfaware person and onward to the most perfect. even tenfold. as it were. which means one that grants our lower nature just the attention and care it requires and leaves us with plenty of time and free attention for the pursuit of our higher development. Through these extrapolations it is possible for us not only to obtain a clear understanding of what our ancestors were concerned with when they talked about God but also to recognise the one and only direction of development that would give sense and meaning to our life on Earth. There is.that everything in the world around us must be matched. We have been able to touch only lightly on the various 'progressions' we notice when contemplating the four Levels of Being. The second Great Truth is that of adaequatio .both what goes on inside us (field one) and what we are as objective phenomena in the eyes of others (field three). and the greater are the efforts required for its development. objectivity and care with which we learn to study ourselves . The quality of our understanding depends decisively on the detachment. otherwise we remain unaware of its existence. To enhance our Level of Being we have to adopt a life-style conducive to such enhancement.

All our serious problems of living are suspended. as it were. Medawar.teachings but has been almost entirely lacking in the West during at least the last hundred years. between these two poles of freedom and necessity.' This is fair enough. not for solving. They are divergent problems. and why we need ever more organised welfare to plaster over the gaping holes torn by the progressive disappearance of spontaneous social cohesion. Our anxiety to solve problems stems from our total lack of self-knowledge. seen as fields of knowledge (field one and field two). at the same time. The real problems of life have to be grappled with.' says Peter B. why despite all our technologies communication becomes ever more difficult. not merely to grapple with them. The anxiety to solve problems has led to a virtually total concentration of intellectual effort on the study of convergent problems. The idea that Saint Francis could communicate with animals. that 'good scientists' in this sense can deal only with the dead aspect of the Universe. even flowers. is the world of freedom. The 'inner world'. 'The slenderest knowledge that may be obtained of the highest things is more desirable than the 7 154 . 'study the most important problems they think they can solve. it clearly demonstrates. Great pride is being taken in this voluntary limitation of the limitless Intellect and its confinement to 'the art of the soluble'. which has created the kind of existential anguish of which Kierkegaard is one of the early and most impressive exponents. birds. the outer world (field three and field four). their professional business to solve problems. why most people live in a state of continuous anxiety. the world of necessity. That is why we cannot trust one another. 'Good scientists. must of course appear incredible to modern men who have so neglected self-knowledge that they have difficulties communicating even with their wives. The Christian (and other) saints knew themselves so well that they could 'see' into the inside of other beings. after all. It is. To repeat a quotation from Thomas Aquinas.

shinier acorns. then just then . but that is of interest only to pigs. of choosing our own 'grade of significance'. we do not find it difficult to discern what constitutes the true progress of a human being: . and 'grappling' with the help of slender knowledge is the real stuff of life. . .His third task is one that he cannot tackle until he has accomplished the first two.which. must be convergent . fatter. difficult and frustrating. sort it out.His second task is to interiorise the knowledge he has gained. the higher faculties of man accept the challenges of life as they are offered. and for which he needs the very best help he can possibly find: it is 'dying' to 155 . this process may be called 'individuation'. Taking our bearings from the four Great Truths discussed in this book.life really makes sense: as a mechanism provoking and almost forcing us to develop towards higher Levels of Being. knowing that when things are most contradictory. to be soluble. Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger. absurd. The question is one of faith. without complaint. keep the good and jettison the bad.with the help of 'the most certain knowledge obtained of lesser things' is merelyone of many useful and perfectly honourable human activities designed to save labour.His first task is to learn from society and 'tradition' and to find his temporary happiness in receiving directions from outside. whereas solving problems . sift it. and studying the interconnections between these four landmarks on our 'map'. What is good and what is bad? What is virtuous and what is evil? It all depends on our faith. becoming self-directed. While the logical mind abhors divergent problems and tries to run away from them. Our faith gives us knowledge of something much better: that we can become oak trees.most certain knowledge obtained of lesser things'.

that is.oneself. to one's likes and dislikes. To the extent that he succeeds in this. to Levels of Being above my own: only there is 'goodness' for me. that is precisely what he would hope to be able to say. He has gained freedom. If he is a Christian. How could I love and help him as long as I have to say. I am called upon to 'love my neighbour as myself. and he also ceases to be self-directed. For I find myself not doing what I really want to do but doing what I really loathe' ? In order to become capable of loving and helping my neighbour as well as myself. I am called upon to 'love God'. 156 . If this is the threefold task before each human being. or. one might say. we can say that 'good' is what helps me and others along on this journey of liberation. with St Paul: 'My own behaviour baffles me. he ceases to be directed from outside. he is then God-directed. to all one's egocentric preoccupations. but I cannot love him at all (except sensually or sentimentally) unless I have loved myself sufficiently to embark on the journey of development as described. strenuously and patiently to keep my mind straining and stretching towards the highest things.

he first had to descend into the Inferno to be able fully to appreciate the reality of sinfulness. Today. a n d lack o f reverence for life a n d property including one 's o w n .Epilogue After Dante (in the Divine Comedy) had 'woken up' and found himself in the horrible dark wood where he had never meant to go. the exploitation o f sex. t h e e x p l o i t a t i o n o f the l o w e s t a n d stupidest m a s s .e m o t i o n s . n a t i o n against n a t i o n ) for w h a t o n e c a n get o u t o f it. the debasing o f language by advertisement a n d propaganda. d i s h o n e s t y in material t h i n g s . the f o m e n t i n g o f d i s c o r d (class against class. A n d since w e are t o d a y fairly well c o n v i n c e d that society is in a b a d w a y a n d n o t necessarily e v o l v i n g in the direction o f perfectibility. F u t i l i t y . a n d t h e s w o r n a l l e g i a n c e : t h e s e are the all-too-recognisable stages that l e a d t o t h e c o l d d e a t h o f s o c i e t y a n d the extinguishing o f all civilised r e l a t i o n s . sterility. hypocrisy. the commercialising o f religion. e v e r y b o d y will readily agree. financial irresponsibility. treachery e v e n t o t h e f u n d a m e n t a l s o f k i n s h i p . pessimists and the like. the drift i n t o l o o s e morality. people who acknowledge the Inferno of things as they really are in the modern world are regularly denounced as 'doomwatchers'. lack o f a living faith. one of the finest commentators on Dante as well as on modern society. venality a n d string-pulling in p u b l i c affairs. t h e falsification a n d destruction o f all the m e a n s o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n . c o u n t r y . 1 157 . a selfo p i n i o n a t e d a n d o b s t i n a t e i n d i v i d u a l i s m . greedy c o n s u m p t i o n . intellectual d i s h o n e s t y . t h e pandering t o superstition a n d t h e c o n d i t i o n i n g o f p e o p l e ' s m i n d s b y mass-hysteria a n d 'spell-binding' o f all k i n d s . a n d u n c o n t r o l l e d b a d t e m p e r . w e find it easy e n o u g h t o r e c o g n i s e the v a r i o u s stages by w h i c h t h e d e e p o f c o r r u p t i o n is reached. v i o l e n c e . Dorothy Sayers. the c h o s e n friend. has this to say: T h a t the Inferno is a picture o f h u m a n s o c i e t y in a state o f sin a n d c o r r u p t i o n . his good intention to make the ascent up the mountain was of no avail.

and i t is sometimes tolerated even in polite society to mention God. most people still try to believe in the 'technological fix'. the world's food problem would be solved. It existed before the present crises became acute. In the face of these .What an array of divergent problems! Yet people go on clamouring for 'solutions'. All the same. But there have also been positive changes: Some people are no longer angry when told that restoration must come from within.threats. our fuel problems would be solved.and many other . disorder and corruption would remain. The above passage was written a quarter of a century ago. Since then. separated man 158 . . If we could develop fusion energy. and it will not go away by itself. if we would perfect the processes of turning oil into edible proteins. and so on. and the description of the Inferno sounds even more familiar. the fuel crisis. . there has been further progress downhill. the threat of a food crisis and the indications of a coming health crisis. More and more people are beginning to realise that 'the modern experiment' has failed. Admittedly. It received its early impetus by what I have called the Cartesian revolution. they say. the belief that everything is 'politics' and that radical rearrangements of 'system' will suffice to save civilisation is no longer held with the same fanaticism as it was held twenty-five years ago. the state of futility. the faith in modern man's omnipotence is wearing thin. and the development of new drugs will surely avert any threat of a health crisis . with implacable logic. which. the arrogance of materialistic scientism is in decline. and become angry when they are told that the restoration of society must come from within and cannot come from without. everywhere in the modern world there are now experiments in New Life-Styles and Voluntary Simplicity. Even if all the 'new' problems were solved by technological fixes. but from materialistic fear aroused by the environmental crisis. some of this change of mind stems not initially from spiritual insight.

in learning how to cope. but it is not possible to live without religion.it may even be a hindrance . and once we have understood this. so that a refusal to reach for Heaven means an involuntary descent into Hell. It may conceivably be possible to live without churches. so that everybody can have adequate shelter. that is without systematic work to keep in contact with and develop towards Higher Levels than those of 'ordinary life'. This then leads to seeing the world in a new light. to grapple with. with all its pleasure and pain.whatever it may be. The art of living is always to make a good thing out of a bad thing. Man closed the gates of Heaven against himself and tried. can we summon the courage and imagination needed for a 'turning around'. Significantly. we are quite competent enough to produce sufficient supplies of necessities so that no one need live in misery. Above all.from those Higher Levels that alone can maintain his humanity. we know enough about ecology to keep the Earth a healthy place. we know what our 'post-modern' tasks really are. a large number of young people (of varying ages!) are looking in the right direction. Only if we know that we have actually descended into infernal regions where nothing awaits us 'but the cold death of society and the extinguishing of all civilised relations'. refinement or crudity . The generosity of the Earth allows us to feed all mankind. sensation and gratification. to confine himself to the Earth. the divergent problems that are the stuff of real life. with immense energy and ingenuity. namely as a place where the things modern man continuously talks about and always fails to accomplish can actually be done. He is now discovering that the Earth is but a transitory state. 159 . there is enough room on the Earth. The modern experiment to live without religion has failed. and there are enough materials. a metanoia. They feel it in their bones that the ever more successful solution of convergent problems is of no help at all .

But there is a moral problem. which have to be understood and transcended. 160 . the answer ' N o ' to despair. capable of being solved so that future generations can live without effort. they are divergent problems.we shall then see that the economic problem is a convergent problem that has been solved already: we know how to provide enough. The answer 'Yes' would lead to complacency. no. aggressive technologies to do so. There is no economic problem and. and moral problems are not convergent. there never has been. Can we rely on it that a 'turning around' will be accomplished by enough people quickly enough to save the modern world? This question is often asked. and do not require any violent. It is desirable to leave these perplexities behind us and get down to work. but whatever answer is given to it will mislead. inhuman. in a sense.

1871). Summa contra Gentiles. R. in August 1968. Lovejoy. 1938). The Great Ideas (Chicago. 4 Victor E. The Dream of Descartes (London. 1. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines (Oxford. The Great Chain of Being (New York. in A. Psychological Commentaries ( L o n d o n . Pensees. 20 Ibid. 1971). Symposium. Sussex. The Logic of the Sciences and Humanities (New Y o r k . Rules for the Direction of the Mind. 22 Quoted in Great Books of the Western World. Jowett (Oxford. section n. 19241928). 7 Koestler a n d Smythies. 2 St T h o m a s Aquinas. Personal Knowledge (London. 17 Ibid. cit. 14 Descartes. 1953). I. vol. 3 M a u r i c e Nicoll. ' R e d u c t i o n i s m a n d Nihilism'. 9 Cf. 19 Etienne Gilson. Summa theologica. 5 Ibid. 1959). 16 Jacques Maritain. ch. 1969). Evans-Wentz. The Unity of Philosophical Experience (London. Summa contra Gentiles. vol. F r a n k l . R o s s (Encyclopaedia Britannica. 18 Descartes. o p . 161 . Beyond Reductionism ( L o n d o n . 19241928). Smythies (eds). Chicago. no. The Scientific Conscience (Fontwell. 1. Koestler and J. vol. 1952). 1 (London. F . N o r t h r o p . trans. 1958). 1946). R. 6 Q u o t e d by Michael Polyani. during the week of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. CHAPTER 2 Levels of Being 1 Arthur O. 1935). C. vol. 12 Ibid. 24 St Thomas Aquinas. 3 (London. 5 a d 1. 8 Plato. T. Y. t r a n s .Notes CHAPTER i O n Philosophical M a p s 1 T o be precise. 1. 1 1 R e n e Descartes. Rules for the Direction of the Mind. 169. Elizabeth H a l d a n e and G. 1974). 21 Blaise Pascal. Discourse on Method. 15 Ibid. 1960). 33. 2 Catherine Roberts. S. 10 W. 23 St Thomas Aquinas. Rules for the Direction of the Mind. 13 R e n e Descartes.

the perfect scientific observer is himself the arch-pointer-instrument' ( p p . 4 R e n e Descartes. 'In fact. b o o k 4. 6 Rev. as Professor E d d i n g t o n put it. 1938). The Unity of Philosophical Experience (London.CHAPTER 3 Progressions 1 St T h o m a s Aquinas. vol. vol. 1821). have as their model m a n himself. Grades of Significance ( L o n d o n . cit. x. 11 R i c h a r d of Saint-Victor. Selected Writings on Contemplation ( L o n d o n . 111. restricted t o colourless. 4. M . 162 . N . ch. X I I I . 1939). ch. 3 Tyrrell. The Christian Philosophy of Saint Augustine ( L o n d o n . 12 Suttanipata. 6 Etienne Gilson. Ernest Lehrs. 5. CHAPTER 4 Adaequatio I 1 G. 7 Ibid. The Philosophy of Physical Science ( L o n d o n . 14 M a u r i c e Nicoll. 1952). L o o k i n g at this fact in o u r way we can say that all pointer instruments which m a n has constructed ever since the beginning of science. 5 Etienne Gilson.13. Preface t o the French translation of the Principia Philosophiae. non-stereoscopic observation. The Christian Philosophy of Saint Augustine ( L o n d o n .16. Living Time ( L o n d o n . 13 Majjhirna Nikaya. Gregory. Eye and Brain . LXX. 4 Matt. 9 Jalal al-Din R u m i .the Pscyhology of Seeing (London. Living Time ( L o n d o n . 1961). op. F o r all that is left to him in this condition is to focus points in space and register changes of their positions. Summa contra Gentiles. Mathnawi ( G i b b M e m o r i a l Series. 1926-34). 10 J o h n Smith the Platonist. xi. 2 M a u r i c e Nicoll. 132-3). Acts X X V I I I . Xill. Indeed. part n. 8 Ibid. 7 Etienne Gilson. I. a "pointer reading science". Preface t o the French translation of the Principia Philosophiae. 1957). 1961). L o n d o n . L. 1 5 . 1930). physical science is essentially. iv. 3 Nicoll. 3 Cf. cit. 1952). ix. ch. part H. 3. Select Discourses ( L o n d o n . 2 R e n e Descartes. o p . 2 R . 1951). 5 M a t t . Man or Matter ( L o n d o n . 1966). Tyrrell. 2 7 . CHAPTER 5 Adaequatio II 1 Sir A r t h u r E d d i n g t o n .

5 Joseph Campbell. 11 ' T h e Instruction t o Bahiya'. A Treasury of Traditional Wisdom (1 ondon. iii. o p . 1975). 6 Ernest W o o d . 1951). P . Cf. The Doctrine of Awakening ( L o n d o n . 20 Ibid. T h e quotations a r e from the ' I n t r o d u c t i o n ' by Alexander d'Agapeyeff. compiled a n d edited by G . 4. The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution. Evola. D . 2 5 0 . WW) CHAPTER 6 T h e F o u r Fields of K n o w l e d g e Field I > < < • 1 Whitall N . 19 Wilder Penfield. Mysticism and Philosophy ( L o n d o n . cit. 1959). ch. 1st lecture. also J. 163 . 1951) a n d Early Fathers from the Philokalia ( L o n d o n . 1962). 18 7Vr<? Art of Prayer. 14 The Cloud of Unknowing. iv. 13 Ma/jhima Nikaya. 3 P. ch. Yoga ( H a r n i o n d s w o r t h . The Hero with a Thousand Faces (New Y o r k . 1950). 1952). 8 N y a n a p o n i k a T h e r a . a Handbook of Mental Training Based on the Buddha's Way of Mindfulness ( L o n d o n . Perry. i N • ch. 1966). The Psychology of Si Ifm . 77i<? Mystery of the Mind (Princeton. q u o t e d by N y a n a p o n i k a T h e r a . o p . 9 William James. 1952). cit. In ihi I nil My Pleasure Lies ( L o n d o n . 4. 1971) 2 Measure for Measure. compiled by Igumen Chariton of V a l a m o ( L o n d o n . 1949). ' I n t r o d u c t i o n ' . 10 Ibid. a n d Marlin Lings.8 A b r a h a m Maslow. see also Beryl I'oRSon. ( L o n d o n . 1961). 1966). 9 Ibid. 17 H i e r o m o n k Kallistos (Timothy W a r e ) in his introduction t o The Art of Prayer (see next note). T. 1954). 1961). The Will to Believe (London. 7 Ouspensky. ch. 1951). 21 ' O n T h e Prayer of Jesus'. An Orthodox Anthology. 26 Ibid. Stace. Slink* >. 24 Ibid. The Heart of Buddhist Meditation. HI . 16 See Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart (London. ii. 12 The Cloud of Unknowing. 22 W. 23 Ibid. in the Light of Sacred Art ( L o n d o n . a n e w translation by Clifton Wolters ( H a r m o n d s w o r t h . F e d o t o v ( L o n d o n . from t h e Ascetic Essays of Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov ( L o n d o n . 4 Ibid. 15 In A Treasury of Russian Spirituality. ' P r o l o g u e ' . HI . Ouspensky. 25 Ibid. CXL. cit. o p .

c h . 1958). T h e F o u r Fields of Knowledge . 2 Ibid. Discourse on Method. Philosophy o f . ch. St J o h n of the Cross. 164 . 1959). 11. The Progress of Insight through the Stages of Purification (Kandy. Ouspensky ( L o n d o n . iv. part vi. Bietigheim. D. West G e r m a n y . Gurdjieff and P. translated a n d edited by E. 12. 1599. I. 1951). by Lorber-Verlag. Lorber's writings are published. N o r t h r o p . Edgar Cayce on ESP ( N e w Y o r k . ch. Wiirttemberg. ch. G . Ceylon.CHAPTER 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 T h e F o u r Fields of Knowledge ..22. Ibid. Penny Baker. W . 1952). p . vol. 5. 1959). M c G a r e y . Bennett. vol. 2. b o o k n. in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (1975). 1965) ch. 1935). M . 1969). Ancient and Modern ( L o n d o n . Evans-Wentz. The Crisis in Human Affairs ( L o n d o n . Elsie Sechrist. 2 Vilfredo Pareto. 1. ch. p a r a g r a p h s 69/2. 9 K a r l Stern. Allison Peers ( L o n d o n . 8. (New Y o r k ) . vol. H a r m o n Hartzell B r o . Practical Yoga. p .Field Three CHAPTER 8 1 Maurice Nicoll. iv. in G e r m a n only. in The Complete Works of Saint John of the Cross. The Mind and Society (London. 109/110. 4 Ibid. See books on E d g a r Cayce by H u g h Lynn Cayce a n d Edgar Evans Cayce (his sons). ch. 'General Introduction'. Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of G. 10 R e n e Descartes. a n d G. 5 F . Ascent of Mount Carmel. 4 Ibid. 2 5 . 267. p . M a r y Ellen Carter. 99/100. ch. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines ( L o n d o n . p . 3 Ibid. T h e Venerable M a h a s i Sayadaw. 6. 4. section xi. 259. 873.Field F o u r 1 A r t h u r Livingston in his 'Editor's N o t e ' to The Mind and Society (see next note).. Symbolism of the Cross (London. W . The Flight from Woman (New Y o r k . vol. 1948). 1965). 7 ' N a t u r e . The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities (New Y o r k . Ernest W o o d .. VIII. D o r i s Agee. Y. CHAPTER 9 T h e F o u r Fields of Knowledge . S. T h o m a s Sugrue. 4. 3 Ibid. E. 1935). p . 6 R e n e G u e n o n .Field T w o 12 R o m . 4. 8 Ibid. 1952-6). 266. Noel Langley. vol. 1. William James. Ernest W o o d . 1935). D o r i s Agee. p . C. ch. 1. J. The Principles of Psychology (Chicago. Yoga ( H a r m o n d s w o r t h .

t o show that all faiths tend t o be intolerant! 18 ' E v o l u t i o n ' . ' W h y Exhibit W o r k s of A r t ? ' Christian and Oriental Philosophy of Art ( N e w Y o r k . . ch. 54. 21 H a r o l d Saxton B u r r . EPILOGUE 1 D o r o t h y L. 16 S t e m . 23 a n d 17. translated by L o r d N o r t h b o u r n e ( L o n d o n . 4 A n a n d a K . cit. 1953). 114. The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times. 12. 12 ' E v o l u t i o n ' . 23 Ibid. Sayers. t r a n s . 1. vol. 4. cit. ' C o m m e n t a r y o n the Gospel of M a t t h e w V. Introductory p. M r W a t s o n . vol. 14 Ibid. Existentialism For and Against (Cambridge. 1977: M r J o h n W a t s o n . M e d a w a r . [to t a k e legal action] . pp. CHAPTER 10 T w o Types of P r o b l e m 1 R e n e G u e n o n . . The Transformist Illusion (Murfreesboro. 1£< . 15 Ibid. Tennessee. 13 Ibid. . 1954). The Divine Comedy. 7 P . 59. 6 Q u o t e d in D o r o t h y L. 1952). 20 M a r t i n Lings. p . ch. o p . in The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (1975). Middlesex. o p . 1964).11 Julian Huxley. 7. 1972).. 1. Encyclopaedia Britannica. section 7. head of t h e religious e d u c a t i o n d e p a r t m e n t of R i c k m a n s w o r t h School. 2 Cf. Bedfont. 3 St T h o m a s A q u i n a s . 1967). w h o was dismissed for teaching the literal 'Genesis' view of creation instead of the evolutionary view favoured in the agreed syllabus. ' I n t r o d u c t i o n ' . C o o m a r a s w a m y . Evolution. the Modern Synthesis ( L o n d o n . . B . Charles Eliot N o r t o n (Great B o o k s of t h e W e s t e r n W o r l d . A ' M o n k e y trial in reverse'. Blueprint for Immortality: the Electric Patterns of Life ( L o n d o n . Paul Roubiczek. 1970). p . . intends . Chicago.2'. 22 Ibid. 1942). 19 D o u g l a s D e w a r . 1957). in Studies in Comparative Religion (published quarterly by T o m o r r o w Publications Ltd. Further Papers on Dante (London. 5 D a n t e . ch. was a missionary in India for 16 years a n d is t h e a u t h o r of two b o o k s that p u t forward the Genesis theory of creation. Sayers. Papers on Dante (London. 1956). 2. The Art of the Soluble (London. 1957). . n o . 17 The Times reports o n J a n u a r y 24th.

83-5. 70. 24. 45. 85. levels of. 61. 55-6. 65. Rene. 16. 64 Education. Charles. 38-9 Bennett.Index Adaequatio. 92-3 Coomaraswamy. 149. 28. 66 Azid ibn Muhammad. supra-human. 17-18.Ananda K. 128. 106. 126. and Cartesianism. Edgar. 48. 45-51 passim. 139. 127 Ethics. 104-5 Evolution. Harold Saxton.. 119. 97 Consciousness. 19. 130. 37. 11. 23. 56-7. 155. 67. 25. 134-6 Campbell. 131. Douglas. 152. behaviour of. 35. jumps (ontological gaps). 136. 99 Bodily control. 30. 159. 63. 21. 54-5. 102 Buddha and Buddhism. 99 Eddington. 151. perfect. 66 Beethoven. 143. 57. 95. 150 Attention. 25-6. 108. 35. 89. 83. 139. 109. 129. 96 1 101.24-35 passim. 63-6. 146. 16. 86 Cognition. 72. organs of. 133 Donne. 74. 40-1. 137 Chemistry. / I Communication. 35. 80. 50-73 passim 74. 148. 137. 118. higher levels. 34. 16. 29 Art. Ludwig van. 133-4 Existentialism. 57. 79 Cayce. W. 129 Descartes. 51 Behaviourism. 148-9 Dante Alighieri. 157 Darwin. 134 169 . 78 Bacon. 27. 58. 75. John. 58. freedom and. 117 Being. 54. 116 Animals. 126-7. 132 Epistemology. 29. Sir Arthur. 81-2. Francis. 68. 24.. 25-35 passim. 18.. 61. 136. J.19. G. 83-4 Augustine. 102 Burr. 144-5. 149-50. Joseph. 21 Faith. 135 Cloud of Unknowing. 153. 71 Altruism. 28-9. Y. 141-2. 158-9 Dewar. 26. 98. 59. Saint. 33-4. 132. 79. 141-3 Encyclopaedia Britannica. 108-10. 152 Evans-Wentz. 33. 154 Faculties: higher and lower. Chain of Being. 80. 25. 12. 153 Agnosticism. 38.

26 Jaeger. 68 Intelligence. 33. 100-1. Werner. L. 129 Huygens. 105. 19-20 Kepler. Abraham. 79. 138. Etienne. 137 Lehrs. as inner unity.22 Heart. 133-4 J .Francis of Assisi. 66. access to. and insight.. 65 Inner life. 153-4. 104. 58-9 History and the past. 31-2 James. 94. 19. 79. 143. 111. definitions of. 12. and its hmits.. Sigmund. 58. 75-6. Immanuel. 153. 28. 106-8. 45-6. Christian. 14-15. 102. 56. 154 Frankl. and his nature. 87 John of the Cross.47. 39-40. 13 Gestalt. 152. 21. unity of knowledge. as microcosm. 33. inner space. 70. Peter B. 48. 2930. Rene. experience and perception. 113 Happiness. 139. Viktor. 19-20 Mind.. 71 Gregory. 39-40. 40-1.122. 9 Kierkegaard. I. 138. 13. 16. Julian. 40 Gilson. Arthur O. 31-2. 59 Integration. 133. 137 Lovejoy. 44-5. 21. 41. 18 Maslow.. 13. 76-9.48. and philosophy. 74-138 passim. 109. 78-9. 154 Freud. 41. 50. 161 Man. William. 90-1. 104 Kant. 105. 98100. 20. 53 Guenon. Thomas. Johann. 68. 40-1 Intellect. and its eye. Martin. Saint. 45 Huxley. 54. 134-5. 'open-ended'. 19. 13-14 Freedom. and its four fields. and equality. Soren. Jakob. Jacques. E. 141-3.108. 95. 33. Saint. 136. see also utilitarianism Matter. 75-6. 47. 27.ogj c 142 Lorber. 154 Metaphysics. his four bodies. 39-40. social knowledge. as capax universi. R. 72-3. 45. 158. 59-60. 139. 48 Maritain. tasks of a human being. 162 Life and living. 89-90 170 . 45. 32. 98. 55-6. 24. Ernst. 72 Materialism (scientism). 123. 118. 11. self-knowledge. and discipline. and necessity. definition of. 154 Knowledge.. 42. 22. 155-6 Lings. 101-2 Jesus. 20. 9—10 Hobbes. 122. 159. 111. 76. 32. 36-7. 102. fields of life. 139 Gurdjieff. and bodily expression. 126 Med a war. G. 26.

69. 51-2 Mystics and mysticism. 19. 91 Northrop. D. 19-20 126 Nicoll. 21. 12. Paracelsus. 147 Progressions. Whitall N. 113. 41. 29. 144-5. 115 Psychology. Nyanaponika Thera. 9. 140.. 36. 121. Occult phenomena. 160. 150. 91-2 . 44 Plato. 32 Philosophy.Physics. 103 159. 28 Motives and motivation. 146. 70-1 Konnersreuth. 81. 43-4 'Proof and its nature.. 86-7. Maurice. 87 Roberts. S. 25. 127 Neumann. 145. P. 127 solving of. 10-11. 124. Russell. 37. 37-8. 89-90 143. Jose. 154-5 Opposites. 145. 12. 14. 41-2. 11. 74 divergent. 77 Nagel. Ernest. 123. Blaise. Swami. 114. 109-10. 154-5. of the heart. 78-9. F. 140. Ouspensky. 155. Isaac. 158. 59-60. 64-5. 83-4 convergent. 141. visibility and in83. 79. 77 Religion. 36. 108-9 Pascal. 136 Problems. 113 visibility. 157 20 Scepticism. 45 map-making. 44. 19. Programming. 38 Music. 26. 125. 77-8 124-5 Pareto. 39. 25. Sayadaw. 36-49 passim.Rumi. Objectivity. 142. 13. Dorothy L. Ontology. Newton. 115 Prayer. 93. pairs of. 82. 120. 27. Sayers. 9-23 passim. 103 vertical dimensions in. 77 Plotinus. 87-8. Adolf. 15-16. 154. 16. 117-19 Psychic perception. of Pluralistic society. 78 Penfield. 86 Paul. Mahasi. Catherine. Saint. Vilfredo. 121. 16. 141. 58 phical maps. 145. Therese. 28. 58 Philokalia. economic. 126 Plants. 122. 52-4 tion.137 Portmann. 141. C . 156 Ramdas. 139-56 passim. 95. 20. Wilder. 119. task of philosophy. 43-4.. 27. 159 Philo. and 147. 136 Pragmatism. the spiritual. 50. 40. Bertrand. Jal-al-uddin. 73 171 Minerals. 24. 82 Patanjali. 89-90. Ortega y Gasset. 144. 77 Richard of Saint-Victor. 159-60. 14 activity and passivity. 24. 33. 160. 126. 76. and philoso. Reason. 17 134 Recognition and identificaPerception. 34-5 Perry.

137. Ernest.. great. 22-3. 69. 121. 32. 65. 114. 22. 89. 106 Zoller.54 Sin. 50. 72. 76 Stace. grades of. 53. Emanuel. 58 Socrates.125. 80-1. 27. 134. 67. 78. 146. 121. 62. descriptive sciences. 105. 80. 123-4. 151 Watson.. 52. 65. 71. 147. 20. 64. 79 Theophan the Recluse. 51 Shakespeare. 147. 56. John. 88. 92. 26. 91-3 Stern. see also materialism Self-awareness. 41-2. 21. 106 World: its appearance. Karl. 87-8 Thomas Aquinas.126-7. 66. 33. traditional. 30. 63. 40. 152-3 Senses. 21. John (the Platonist). 53. 68. 82 Wood. 136. 65. 90. 108 Taoism. 54. bodily. 16. 87. 161 Time (fourth dimension). 136. 137. 127-8. intellectual. 28. 15. 46 Truth and error. T. 50. 85. 15. for manipulation. 131 Swedenborg. 54 Utilitarianism. 125.Science. and scientific method. 11. hierarchical structure. M. 34. 62. 678. 120-1. 60. G. 51. instructional sciences. 16. 86. 120-21. 136 172 . 101. 38-9 Wisdom. 13. 72 Smith. 23 Yoga. and truth. William. 151 Significance. 115. 39. 29.122-4. for understanding. 35. 66. 22. 52. 80. 70. 66-8. 52. 165 Will. Saint. 74-5. W. 22. 104. 155 Tyrrell. 55. 127. N. Heinrich. 11 Truths. 133. 31. 83. 50. higher and lower. 154. 48-9. 117. 74. 19.

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