Part 4 The significance of the kinaesthetic systems for the constitution of the perceived object: the phenomenological concept of kinaesthesis-- the correlation between the visual field and the kinaesthetic sequences-- the thing as unity in the kinaesthetically motivated manifold of appearances. Part 5 The transition from the oculomotor field to objective space-- the constitution of three-dimensional, spatial corporeality-- amplifications of the oculomotor field-- the typicality of the modifications of appearances in the oculomotor field-- the constitution of space through the conversion of the oculomotor field into an expansional and turning manifold-- supplementary considerations.
Part 6 The constitution of objective change-- qualitative changes of the perceptual object-- the constitution of mere movements. The lectures deal with the constitution of the thing as a res extensa, an extended spatial structure filled with sensuous qualities and not yet with substantial or causal properties. Key to this phenomenological account is the role of the kinaesthetic systems of the body in the constitution of both three-dimensional space and the thing in its identity, its manifold of possible movements, and its position in relation to the ego.
The "Thing-lectures" form part of the project of a 'phenomenology and critique of reason' announced in a general introduction to the same lectures and published separately as The Idea of Phenomenology. There for the first time the idea of a transcendental phenomenology based on the principle of the phenomenological reduction was laid out. The lectures presented here thus form a striking example of the application of this idea to a concrete and fundamental field of research.
Subject Phenomenology. Perception Philosophy Object Philosophy Space and time. Bibliographic information. Publication date Series Edmund Husserl collected works ; v. Browse related items Start at call number: B H93 T48 You will not find yourself in the absurdly illogical position of declaring it a good thing to train the physical plane consciousness, while it is dangerous to cultivate the astral and mental plane consciousness.
You will understand that all psychism is of the same kind, that on each plane the development of psychism has its own laws ; but that it is absurd to admire the working of consciousness on the lower plane, and shrink from it as something dangerous, almost diabolical, when it appears on a plane higher than the physical.
It is this rational and common-sense view which I want to impress upon you to-night, to get you out of the region of mystery, marvel, wonder, and fear, which to so many people surround what is called psychism; to make you understand that you are unfolding consciousness, showing out your powers on one plane after another according to the organisation and the fineness of the bodies in which your consciousness is working; and that if you will only keep your common sense and reason, if you will only not allow yourself to be terrified by what at present is unusual, you may then walk along the psychic pathway in the astral or mental world, as resolutely, and with as great an absence of hysteria, as.
That is the general idea; and, of course, this is the meaning in which, after all, the word is often used down here. When you say "psychology" you do not mean only the workings of consciousness in astral and mental bodies; you mean the whole consciousness of the man, the workings of the mind, wherever the mind is active; the whole of that you include under " psychology. Now let us consider for a moment the workings of the mind on the physical plane: they are familiar.
There is, however, one important point about them. In the materialistic science of the last century you had very widely spread, amongst scientific men, the view that thought was only the result of certain kinds of vibration in certain kinds of matter. I need not dwell on that. But you are aware that both in England, and more especially in France and Germany, most elaborate disquisitions were written to prove that thought was only the product of nervous matter.
You rarely, I think never, now find a well-trained scientist prepared to commit himself to that position. Those who survive as representatives of that same school may do so, but they are literally survivals. The mass of psychologists of today admit that the manifestations of mind cannot any longer be regarded as the results of vibrations in the physical brain, that at least we must go beyond these limitations when dealing with the results of the study of. They will no longer, then, regard thought as the product of matter.
Thing and Space Lectures of 1907
They certainly will not be prepared to go as far as I now propose to go, and say that the thinking organism is the production of thought—the very antithesis, you will agree, of the other position, but which is vital to the understanding of the unfolding of the powers of consciousness through matter. It is recognised in ordinary biology that the function appears before the organ. There I am on safe scientific ground.
It is recognised that the exercise of the function gradually builds up the organ. All the researches into the simpler forms of organisms go to prove that. It is also recognised that when the exercise of the function has built the organ in a very simple form, the exercise of the function continually improves the organ which originally it builded. So far we are hand in hand with ordinary science.
I think I shall not go too far in saying that a large number of the more scientific psychologists of today will at least agree that the brain as you find it in the adult man is very largely the result of the exercise of thinking through the earlier years of life. I do not think they would go so far as to say that thinking has literally produced it.
They would, however, judging by very many things that have been said, be willing to admit that by hard thinking we can improve our apparatus of thought. That is one reason for thinking hard—in order to think better. And the harder you think, the more will your thinking instrument improve. To put it concretely: your physical brain is built up from the astral plane, and it is your consciousness working in matter finer than the physical which builds up the brain in the forming child within the limits laid down by karma.
Now, that is a general law for healthy evolution. You will see the importance of this law a little further on. Every body which we possess — physical, astral, mental, buddhic — is always built up by consciousness working in the plane next above it; the next plane, or world, is a world very much more " next" than you are next each other sitting here—not far away beyond the stars, removed by great spaces.
It is interpenetrating you in every portion of your being. It is only " next" in the sense that the solids, liquids, and gases of your bodies are next each other in the body—not far away, but here. So that the working is of the closest and most intimate kind. Some of you who are students, of Theosophical literature will remember that H.
You will see that you are not working with a physical consciousness in the literal sense of the term, if you think for a moment. How much do you know of the consciousness working in the various cells and tissues of your physical body? Practically nothing, except when you are ill. Only when the body is disorganised do you become conscious of that working.
Normally, the motion of your blood, the building up by. In the Perfect Man, the consciousness of all this is ever present, but in us, imperfect, it is not; we are not yet sufficiently vitalised and unfolded to carry on the whole of our consciousness, with full awareness of all its activities.
We are only able to manage a very small part of it, and so have let go the consciousness that keeps at work the physical body, to concentrate ourselves in a higher world, and utilise the nervous mechanism as the apparatus of our thinking. That law obtains, then, all through. If you want to organise and build up your astral body, you can only do it from the mental plane. You must raise your thought to a higher power by concentration, by regular meditation, by deliberately working on the consciousness, before you can raise it to that power from which it shall be able to organise your.
That is the reason why meditation is necessary in all these things ; because without the creative power of thought we cannot organise the body in the world which is nearest to the physical. Now, supposing that we recognise that our consciousness working in the physical brain, the instrument over which we have complete control, is continually at work contacting the outer world, using the brain as an instrument on which it can play, and continually bringing down from higher worlds impressions which it transmits more.
Let us take thinking a little more unusual, where the finer part of the brain, its etheric matter, is being more largely vitalised, more definitely used. The powers of the imagination—the creative power—the artistic powers, all creative in their nature, these utilise most the ethers of the brain, and, by working in those, bring into activity the lower and coarser matter of the dense brain.
Now, the thought passes from the consciousness through vehicle after vehicle to find its clear expression here. But do you not have many mental impressions that are not clear, not well defined, and yet which impress you deeply, and of which you feel sure? They are of many kinds, and reach you in many ways. What is important to you is simply this for the moment: that being surrounded by the astral and mental worlds, contacts from these are continually touching you, continually causing changes in your consciousness.
Lectures on Faster-than-Light Travel and Time Travel
If your astral body were thoroughly organised like your physical, the impressions made would be clear and sharp like the physical. If your mental body were well organised, the impressions of that plane, the heavenly plane, would be clear and sharp like the physical. But as the astral and mental bodies at this stage of evolution are not well organised, the impressions received by them, causing changes in the consciousness, are vague and indeterminate, and it is these which are generally called " psychic.
Slowly and gradually they become organised, and strenuous thinking is the method for the astral body, and the working of the pure reason is the method for the mental body. For you may have noticed that I used the word " normal" evolution, orderly evolution on the lines of natural evolution, always from above.
But you may stimulate it from below. It is possible to stimulate the astral body, at least, from the physical plane, but you do it at the cost of higher evolution a little later on, and the reason you can do it is simple enough. In the astral body are all the centres of your senses. You know how after death a man's desires are the same as they were during his physical life.
You know how in dreams your desires resemble desires that you may have in your waking consciousness. The centre of all your psychic powers, of your conscious powers, the centres of these are in the astral, and if especially with your senses, each of which has its own centre in the astral body you overstrain the physical senses down here, you will get an action on the astral plane, but an unhealthy, because disorderly one, one not going along the line of evolution but trying to create from below instead of from above.
None the less, you may have some results, and in the two famous Indian systems for developing the powers of the consciousness, and for unfolding the consciousness itself, you have this. The Yoga of Effort is Hatha Yoga, and is practised by physical means and followed by physical effects. The eye is stimulated in certain ways, and the effect of straining the physical eye is to bring about a certain limited kind of clairvoyance.
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You can gain it in that way "by gazing into crystals, and so on. They do stimulate the centre of physical sight, but not the astral; and that is why they cannot go very far. You can get a certain amount of clairvoyance by these means, but you are only expanding your physical sight, and working on centres of the astral body connected with the physical organ of vision, the eye.
The true astral sight is an entirely different thing. That comes from a centre of its own in the astral body. It has to be created from the mental body, as the organ of the physical was from the astral. The centre of that sight will be in the mental body and not in the astral, and only the organ of it in the astral body.
And if you realise that your consciousness is one, building its bodies for its fuller and more complete expression, that you are here in order to become masters of matter instead of its slaves, to become lords of matter, using every organ of matter for knowledge of the world to which that matter belongs, and not to be blinded by it, as we are for so long a time in.
As Nature slowly will evolve in every human being the power of using the astral body as freely as you use the physical body now, so can you quicken the coming of that day for yourselves by understanding the powers of thought and turning them to the object you desire to obtain. There are many ways in which this may be done, and many rules you may learn for your guidance. Those rules may be summed up under two heads: clear and strenuous thinking, discipline for the bodies that you are trying to evolve; and also, I should add, for the body below them in evolution.
Those are the two great laws for the safe evolution of these so-called psychic powers, what I call the powers of the consciousness on the astral and mental planes. There must be a discipline for the bodies, for you have to choose the material which will serve you best in the work you are doing out of the innumerable combinations of matter with which Nature presents you. You must choose the combinations that will serve your purpose, which you can utilise in the building of the organs of sense on plane after plane.
Just as really as the man who is a drunkard will injure his nervous system by his -excesses, and by supplying coarse and over-active compounds will injure the physical body, so making it a less useful instrument for the man —as any excess, not only drunkenness, but gluttony, profligacy, and so on—as these injure the physical body as an instrument of consciousness, and to have full and. A regimen is necessary when you are dealing with the organisation of the subtler matter of the astral and mental worlds, for you cannot build up your physical body out of the coarser combinations of matter on the physical, and have finer combinations on the astral and mental.
The bodies have to match each other. They have to correspond with each other; and as you find all sorts of combinations related the one to the other on every plane, you must choose your combinations on the physical if you desire to choose them also on the astral and mental. You cannot make your physical body coarse, and organise the astral and mental bodies for the finer purposes of the man; and you must settle that in your minds if you wish to try to develop these higher powers of consciousness. Not only because if you gather together the coarser materials of the astral world, you will find yourself hampered by them in the higher expression of consciousness, but also because the presence of these combinations in you exposes you to a number of dangers on the astral plane.
The purer the elements of your astral body, the safer you are in your earlier wanderings on that plane. It is important to mention this, because in some of the schools of thought which are trying only to develop astral powers, you will find that they deliberately use other methods in order to make their astral body active.
Many schools of the " left hand path " in India will use spirits, wines, meats of all sorts, in order to bring about a certain astral condition, and they succeed,. So that you may find that an Indian, who knows a little of this and wants to use it for his own purposes, will deliberately use these things which are attractive to the elementals of those lower worlds, and gather them around him and use them.
But he does it knowing what he does, and aiming at that which he desires to conquer. But amongst those who practise black magic of the higher kinds—of the mental kinds—you have an asceticism as stern and rigid as has ever been used by those who are trying to develop their higher bodies for nobler ends.
It is a mistake to think that the brothers of the dark side are, as a rule, licentious and indifferent to what you call morality. On the contrary, they are exceedingly strict. Their faults are the faults of the mind, not the faults of the lower desires, of the organs of the different bodies which may gratify them. Their faults are the more dangerous faults of mental powers misused for personal ends. But they realise very well that if they want the mental powers and the higher ranges of those powers, they must be as rigid in the discipline of the lower bodies as any pupil of the White Lodge could be.
Take it, then, that to develop in this way, a regimen for the bodies, as well as the strict working and training of the mind, is absolutely necessary. But with these the result is sure. You cannot set a time for the result, for it depends where the worker is beginning in his present life. In all these matters Nature's laws will not permit of what is called miraculous growth, and if you find. So that there are differences. Some now beginning are not likely to succeed in their present incarnation; but if that discourages them, one can only say: " If you do not do it now, you will have to begin again next life, and so on and on and on.
For Nature's laws cannot be violated, and Nature knows no favoritism and no partiality. Some time or other you have to begin, and the sooner you begin the sooner will you succeed. Now the whole of this, you will remark, is the training, the organising of bodies. And psychism implies that.
You must train, purify, organise, in order that the powers of the consciousness may show forth. You will see very fully now why at the beginning 1 urged you to realise that the whole of these manifestations are similar in kind, so that when you find someone saying to you: " Oh! And so they are in a sense.
The spiritual life goes in-. It is the same Self in either case—the Self turning inwards on Itself, or the Self going outwards to the world of objects. But it does not make one scrap of difference whether it goes out to physical, astral, or mental objects: it is all the objective consciousness, and therefore the very reverse of the spiritual. But the Indian does not shrink from that as ordinarily the man in the West does.
He is perfectly honest. We give up all the objects of the physical plane when seeking the Self. If it is better to be blind here than to see—and the Indian will tell you it often is, because it shuts out all the distracting objects of the physical plane—if you are prepared to say that, and say: " Yes, I would rather be blind than see," then you may go on to denounce seeing on the astral plane. But if you value your physical sight, why not value the astral sight—it is a stage higher—as well?
Why admire the power of sight of the painter, who sees more shades than you can see, and denounce the sight of the clairvoyant, who sees very much more than the cleverest painter? It seems strange when one sees the same person exalting the psychic on the physical plane and denouncing it on the astral and mental. But now let us turn to " spirituality" and see what that means.
Anyone who has reached a certain stage of intellectual knowledge will recognise the unity of mankind; will say, with the writer in the Christian book, that God has made all men of one blood—quoted again from what is called a Pagan book.get link
SciPost Submission: Lectures on Faster-than-Light Travel
That intellectual recognition of the unity is practically universal among educated people ; but very few are prepared to carry out the intellectual recognition into practical life and practical training. Now for the development of what are called psychic faculties some amount of retirement from the world is very useful.
For the development of the spiritual consciousness no such retirement is necessary. In fact, for the most part, except in the earlier stages perhaps, seclusion is a mistake; for the world is the best place for the unfolding of the sense of unity, and best amongst men and women and children can we call out the powers of the spiritual life. And that for a simple reason. In the lower world the Spirit shows itself out by love, by sympathy; and the more we can love, the more we can sympathise, the greater will be the unfolding of the consciousness of the Self within.
It was a true word of the early Christian Initiate, that if a man loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how shall he love God whom he hath not seen?
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And if the perfection of the spiritual. Love, sacrifice, these are the manifestations of the Spirit on the physical plane, as is right knowledge also. For the Spirit is not a one-sided thing, but a Trinity, and knowledge is as necessary as love. The special value of love lies in its unifying power, and in the fact that it makes what the world calls sacrifice natural and delightful.
You know it in your own experience.
Just in proportion as you love another is it a joy and not a sorrow to give up things in order that the happiness of the other may be increased. It is no sacrifice for a mother to give up personal enjoyment for the sake of giving it to her children. A deeper joy is felt in the happiness of the child than could possibly have been felt in the enjoyment of the thing by herself; a sweeter, finer, profounder happiness is the enjoyment of the happiness of the beloved.
And that a little widens out the consciousness, and hence family life is one of the best schools for spiritual unfolding ; for in the continual sacrifices of the family life, springing from love and rendered joyful by affection, the Self feels itself a larger Self, and reaches the sense of unity with those immediately around.
And after the family the public life, the life of the community, the life of the nation: these also are schools for the unfolding of the spiritual consciousness. For the man who is a good citizen of the community feels the life of the community as his own life, and so. And the man who loves his nation, his Self widens out to the boundaries of the nation, and he is conscious of a larger Self than the self of the family, or the community within the State. And just in proportion as the love widening does not grow superficial and shallow for if you have only a certain amount of water and you make your dish wider and wider, the water will become shallower and shallower does it approach spiritual love.
Too often love becomes unreal with those who try to love the far-off when they do not love the near. But if you avoid the temptation, and remembering that the Spirit has no limitations, and that you can draw and draw and draw on the love within you and never find the bottom of the source of love; if you are strong enough to do that, then the love of the family, of the community, of the State, will widen out into the love of humanity, and you shall know yourself as one with all, and not only with your family, or your community, or your nation.
All these local loves are schoolmasters to bring us to the wider love of man. But do not blunder in the idea that you can have the wider unless you have gone through the narrower; for the bad husband, the bad citizen, the bad patriot, will never make a real lover of humanity.
He must learn his alphabet before he can Bead in this book of love, and must spell out the letters before he may pronounce the word. None the less, these successive stages are all stages towards the spiritual life, and prepare the man for the consciously spiritual realisation. And if you would really train yourself for the unfolding of this life. Not only those whom you like, but those you care not for as well; not with those who love you only, but with those who dislike you also.
Remember that you have to break down barriers—barriers of the bodies that bar you out from your fellow Selves in the worlds around you, and that breaking down of the barriers is part of the training in the spiritual life. Only as barrier after barrier is broken down, only as wall after wall is levelled to the ground, will the freedom of the Spirit become possible in manifestation on every plane and in every world.
The Spirit is ever free in his own nature and his own life, but, confined within the barriers of the body, he has to learn to transcend them, before, on these planes of matter, he can realise the divine freedom which is his eternal birthright. So long as you feel yourself separate from others, so long are you shut out from the realisation of the unity; so long as you say " my " and " mine," so long the realisation of the Spirit is not yet possible for you. Love of individual possessions, not only physical but moral and mental, not the vulgar pride of physical wealth only, but moral pride, intellectual pride, everything that says " I" as against " you," and does not realise that I and you are one—all this is against the spiritual life.
Hardest of all lessons when brought down to practical life; most difficult of all attainments when effort is made to realise it, and not only to talk about it and imagine it. When you are trying to live the life of the Spirit, you will try to be pure. You do well, but why? In order that you may be pure, and leave your impure brethren in their impurity?
Oh no! You must try to be pure, in order that there may be more purity in the world to share amongst all men, because you are pure. You are not wanting to be purer than others, but only gathering purity that you may spread it in every direction, and most joyous when your own purity lifts someone from the mire, who is trampled into it under the feet of the world. You want to be wise. You do well; for wisdom is a splendid possession. But why? In order that you may look down on the ignorant and say: " I am wiser than thou," as the pure man might say: "I am holier than thou"? Otherwise it is no spiritual thing; for spirituality does not know "myself" and " others "; it only knows the One Self, of whom all forms are manifestations.
We dare not call ourselves spiritual until we have reached that point which none of us as yet has reached, for to reach it means to become a Christ. When, looking at the lowest and basest and most ignorant and vilest, we can say: " That is myself, in such-and-such a garb," and say it feeling it, rejoicing in it—because if there are two of you, and one is pure and the other impure, and the two are one, then neither is perfect, but both are raised above the level of the lowest—that is the true atonement, the real work of the Christ; and the birth of Christ within you means the willingness to throw down.
For the most part we claim our unity above; we do not take pride in claiming our unity below; we are glad to say, "Yes, I also am Divine; I am a Christ in the making; I am one with Him. You may remember that exquisite story of Olive Schreiner, breathing the very essence first of the unspiritual, and then of the spiritual life. In the first case a woman, pure and spotless, her garments shining with whiteness, and her feet shod as with snow, went up to the Gates of Heaven and trod the golden streets.
And as she trod them in her shining robes the angels shuddered back, and said: " See, her garments are blood-spotted, and her sandals are stained with mire and blood. Once again she came to the. Another woman was with her, and the garments of both were blood-flecked, and the sandals of both were stained with the mire and blood of earth.
But the angels seeing them pass by, cried out: " See how whitely their garments. And see how white are their feet! For it is not the sin and the shame that are shared that soil the garments of the Spirit, and leave upon it the mire of earth. If, then, you would lead the spiritual life, go downwards as well as upwards. Feel your unity with the sinner as well as with the saint. For the only thing that makes you divine is the Spirit that lives in every human heart alike, in all equally dwelling, and there is no difference in the divinity of the Spirit, but only in the stage of its manifestation.
And just as you and I climb upwards and show more of the spiritual life in the lower worlds, should we raise our brethren with us, and know the joy of the redeemer, and the power of the life that saves. For Those whom we call Masters, Those who are the Christs of the world, Those are reverenced and beloved, because to Them there is no difference, but the sinner is as beloved as the saint—nay, sometimes more, because compassion flows out to the weaker more than to the strong.
Such is the spiritual life? Very different from the psychic, and not to be confused with it—the unfolding of the divinity in man, and not. Both are good, both necessary, and I finish with the words with which I began, that while to be psychic is no proof of spirituality, to be spiritual is to possess every power in heaven and on earth. Choose ye each your road. Tread whichever you will, but beware that by the growth of your powers here, in separation, you do not delay the growth of the spirituality which is the realisation of the unity of the Self. For everything which divides becomes evil, by the very fact of its dividing; every power which is shared is a wing to carry us upwards, but every power that is kept for the lower self is a clog that holds us down to earth.
Everyone of us who belongs to any special religion can trace back along the line of his religion further and further into the past, until he comes to its beginning, its first Teacher. And round that Teacher is usually a group of men and women who to the Founder of the religion are disciples, but to those who accept the religion later are teachers, apostles. And this is invariably true. The Hebrew, if you ask him, will trace back his religion to the time of the great legislator Moses, and behind Him to a yet more heroic figure, Abraham, the " friend of God.
The Pars! Egypt, if you ask her story, will show you heroic figures of her past, and amongst them that great King and Priest, Osiris, who, slain, as the old legend tells us, rises again, as Lord and. Judge of His people. Buddhism, spread in the far East, will trace back its story to the Buddha, and will declare in addition to that, that not only is the Buddha the Teacher of that particular faith, but that a living person still exists on the earth as Teacher, as Protector, whom they call the Bodhisattva, the wise and the pure.
India will tell you of a great group of teachers gathered round their Manu, the tradition of whose laws are still preserved, and is still used as the basis of the social legislation administered now by the English rulers. And round that great Lawgiver of the past, wise men are gathered whose names are known throughout the land, each of them standing at the head of some noble Indian family, that traces its ancestry backward and backward till it ends in the Sage, the Teacher. And this is equally true of more modern religions. Take the Christian religion, and the Christian traces his religion back until it finds its source in the personality of the Prophet of Judea, of Jesus the Christ.
And it is interesting, as one of those strange parallels which meet us often in the comparative study of religions, that Just as the Buddhist has his Buddha and also his Bodhisattva, so the Christian has the two names: Christ, representing the living Spirit, a stage in the spiritual unfolding, the name representing a stage, an office, rather than a special man, and joined to that the individual name of Jesus, in order to mark the intimate connection, as some would say the identity, between the" two. But just as among the Buddhists the distinction is drawn, so among the early Christians you will find a similar distinction was made between the man Jesus and the spiritual Christ.
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