Class Transcript (PB Class)  from September 8, 1984 "What is Philosophy? and the Sage" 

Slow but steady progress is being made in the archiving of the materials left by Anthony Damiani to Wisdom’s Goldenrod.  From time to time we will share with you some gems we find as we make our way through the archiving process.  Here is one class transcript from 1984 on the topics of “What is Philosophy?” and “The Sage”.


AD: So we'll try something else.  As an approach I asked Avery if he wouldn't mind standing up there--do you mind it?

RC: Should I mention the other thing we talked about?

AD: Oh, yes, mention the other thing.


RC: This is actually Michael Wakoff's suggestion and I thought it was a good one.  There was a quote that really sort of put it's finger on what was bothering a bunch of us.  Basically what the quote says is the more he advances intuitively the more will the ego's sophistries seek to led him astray.  We felt like we had a number of marvelous examples over the past few weeks so Michael's suggestion was that even though a number of these quotes certainly can be interpreted on a variety of levels with increasing levels of complexity, that we should try first to go the simplest, most straight-forward meaning and make sure that's clearly defined before we get into bringing in other system's terminologies and try to work with words that you make up on the spot to say what you mean.  Basically just to take the simplest and most straight-forward terms, and get that defined.  After that's clear, if people want to bring in a more complicated interpretation, that would be fine but let's get the simplest one first.


DB: Can we start with that quote?


AD: Keep that in mind even now, keep that in mind, Wakoff's suggestion.


CdA: I'm going to modify it a little bit.


St: You are?


CdA: Yes. (inaudible)  Today when we were talking about this, Anthony thought that it would be alright to use Plotinian language.  If other people disagree that's fine but I asked if we couldn't use that because sometimes those concepts are more available.


RC: The example was ones that are clear.  Like to say `Intellect' as in Plotinus is something that's fairly clear.


Carol: But maybe that's a problem for other people but it's a problem for some people not to use it.


RC: I guess my main reason for mentioning that was I just found it much more difficult to be sophistical without a vocabulary.  To actually think and figure out what I mean by using my own words. (pause)


AD: Let's proceed.


AS: I've got about 30 or 40 quotes...


AD: Just one quote.


AS: But I just have one that I will do. Okay, I took one from this book (Perspectives), because everybody has it, it's on page 250.  I kind of wanted to keep on this certain theme.  But that will change as things develop.  I hope this is relevant to ...I'll read it a couple of times.  I also wanted to make one comment about as long as we are talking about method...he does have a couple of quotes, the particular one Randy referred to there at the very beginning and there's at least one or two others where he talks about that these ideas are like seeds, that ``under the water of their reflection and the sunlight'' of understanding.(Q: see 2nd quote on p. 262)  Yeah, he has a couple of quotes, for example on page 262, which people might want to read on their own at some time, that are relevant perhaps to this method of reading.  Okay from page 250...I'll read it twice and then we'll think about it.


PB: ``Two things have to be learned in this quest.  The first is the art of mind-stilling, of emptying consciousness of every thought and form whatsoever.  This is mysticism or Yoga.  The disciple's ascent should not stop at the contemplation of anything that has shape or history, name or habitation, however powerfully helpful this may have formerly been to the ascent itself.  Only in the mysterious void of Pure Spirit, in the undifferentiated Mind, lies his last goal as a mystic.  The second is to grasp the essential nature of the ego and of the universe and to obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves within our minds.  This is the metaphysics of Truth.  The combination of these two activities brings about the realization of his true Being as the ever beautiful and eternally beneficent Overself.  This is philosophy.'' Perspectives p. 250 and 20.4.134


(long silence, approximately 2 minutes)


AS: I wish I could do this.  I thought, following Michael's idea, I had a similar idea... that maybe that maybe the first thing on reading the quote would be to make clear just the words.  You know, whichever words seem difficult and then maybe to point out what I thought was particularly problematic about the quote and then maybe as a third thing to present a picture, kind of put it in a picture, a picture of the quote, what I thought he was saying.


CdA: Would you mind speaking up Avery.  It's very hard to hear you.


AD: (In response to someone moving a microphone to Avery) No, no.  That's why I asked you to sit on the chair, so we can hear you.


AS: Oh.


AD: But that doesn't work either.


AS: I can speak up.  That's okay.  Can I use the board?


AD: Go ahead.


AS: So ``two things have to be learned''  and seemingly in two strangely different ways.  ``The first is the art of mind- stilling, of emptying consciousness of every thought and form whatsoever.  This is mysticism or Yoga.  The disciple's ascent should not stop at the contemplation of anything that has shape or history, name or habitation, however powerfully helpful this may have formerly been to the ascent itself.  Only in the mysterious void of Pure Spirit, in the undifferentiated Mind, lies his last goal as a mystic.''  Well, okay, ``the art of mind-stilling, of emptying consciousness of every thought,'' I took that to be every conceivable aspect of the changing world-image including the ego, and especially the ego.  ``Every thought and form whatsoever.''


LR: What are you saying is the first truth, what's the image? . . . (hard to hear)


AS: Okay it's ``the art of mind-stilling, of emptying consciousness of every thought and form whatsoever.''  Now by ``emptying consciousness,'' the consciousness I took as that consciousness which is the awareness of the changing thoughts and forms and so on.  That consciousness of contents is not the same as the contents of consciousness.  The first goal he is talking about is that consciousness, the pure consciousness, we could say the ``I-Am'' consciousness, or the soul consciousness or awareness has taken itself or gotten caught up with these thoughts and forms.  In other words the contents.  And he says that the first thing that has to be learned is the stilling of the activity of thought and forms, contents, in order that...I mean if I really think that this is the ultimate goal of mysticism, he saying that all levels of the vibratory world activity have to be stopped, to leave just the pure awareness...or I used this word `consciousness'.  ``However powerfully helpful any of these may have been'' for example any particular concentrations that have a form of some kind or even any kind of bliss.  He would say everything has to be empty.  ``Only in the mysterious void of Pure Spirit, in the undifferentiated Mind, lies his last goal as a mystic.''  I think that he is at least here taking the pure consciousness as the equivalent, pure consciousness emptied of all content as this mysterious void of pure spirit, or what we've called the I-am or the Overself, and the Undifferentiated Mind, lies his last goal as a mystic. I think that the mysterious void of pure spirit, the Undifferentiated Mind, once all contents have been wiped out and stopped there's nothing to separate that Pure Awareness which say was misidentified with the thoughts.  There's nothing to separate that pure awareness from Mind, from the nature of Mind. . . .  ``In the mysterious void of Pure Spirit, in the undifferentiated Mind,'' well, in other terms we've called this consciousness an authentic existence.


LR: I just wanted Avery to elaborate what was meant by ``undifferentiated mind'' here.


AS: I think he's speaking of the I-Am principle or the Overself as undifferentiated mind. ``In the mysterious void of Pure Spirit, in the undifferentiated Mind, lies his last goal as a mystic.''  The goal of the mystic is to deny or get rid of all changing forms of the world image and to leave him with this pure awareness, pure undifferentiated mind or pure undifferentiated consciousness.  I don't think he's distinguishing them here.  ``The second is to grasp the essential nature of the ego and the universe and to obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves within our minds.  This is the metaphysics of Truth.''  This is the second thing that has to be learned, he says ``to grasp the essential nature of the ego and the universe and to obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves within our minds.''  Apparently for this particular activity, the first activity of the stilling all the thoughts, he's realized the pure awareness but not attained the second understanding, that is, he's not necessarily grasped ``the essential nature of the ego and of the universe'' in order ``to obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves within our minds.''  He's recognized that he is himself as pure spirit or pure consciousness, he's recognized the pure consciousness or undifferentiated mind, but since there's no thoughts there there's been no-- or hasn't yet been an understanding of what the ego and the universe are, that must arise again as soon as he comes back from that.  So he comes back and now has to understand the duality or has to understand the dual problem.  He now knows the pure awareness, the mind essence but he now has to understand its relation to this ego and the universe or he now has to understand what the nature of the ego's the changing World Idea is to this pure awareness or mind essence.  And he has ``to obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves within our minds.  This is the metaphysics of Truth.'' 


I don't know, I'll throw out my crazy that he's recognized the still nature of Mind but he hasn't recognized the active nature of Mind. That in recognizing the stillness he hasn't attained the ultimate because as a matter of fact the nature of mind is to be both still and active, to be both consciousness and content.  He's recognized the nature of Mind as consciousness or he's recognized that his consciousness is of the nature of Mind but he hasn't recognized that the world and his ego are of the nature of Mind and that's the other half of the truth.  And since Mind includes both of these aspects he has not attained the final realization simply by recognizing that consciousness is of the nature of Mind.  That in some sense he says somewhere else, in some sense...that's not easier but...his thing that consciousness was more of the nature of Mind than that the world was.  But anyway the second that he has to learn is to grasp the essential nature of the ego and the universe, and then he has to see that the changing World Idea itself is of the nature of Mind.  When that happens then he would have both of these aspects and the combination ``brings about the realization of his true Being as the ever beautiful and eternally beneficent Overself.''


KD: Avery, when you use the two words 'consciousness' and 'mind' what do you mean?  Mind would be the inclusive of consciousness and World Idea?


AS: Right. His term Mind includes both, ultimately includes both the nature of pure consciousness, or unchanging consciousness, and it also includes the nature of ideas, contents.


KD: So mind would be the I-Am principle, like the highest phase of soul?


AS: I would say that the I-Am principle is of the nature of Mind. I don't think he's making any distinctions right here except that I would, if I were to say it in my own words, I would say that when the I-Am or the principle of manifestation has none of this manifestation within it, than of what is it going to be aware.  And it will have to be aware of just pure undifferentiated mind which is its own essence.  And so it recognizes its own essence or that Mind recognizes itself.


KD: We once spoke of the contemplation of the Overself, the Overself contemplating the ideas.  That that's the highest phase of the soul and I was wondering if when you use the term Mind if that's what you were referring to?  That presence of the Nous in the soul?  The highest phase of the soul.  What we were calling the highest level of the World Idea.


AS: Well, that's a good question here.  Why do you think that the first part is talking about the World Idea?  ``Only in the mysterious void of Pure Spirit, in the undifferentiated Mind, lies his last goal as a mystic.''  I thought that this was what he in other places calls Nirvikalpa.  Where there's no thought, no imagery.  Nir-vikalpa.  There's no vikalpas going on.  So there's no thought.  There's no thought at any level.  No content as other at any level.  You wipe that out.  If that's wiped out then the consciousness, by emptying consciousness, the consciousness would remain and it would only be consciousness of this undifferentiated Mind.  Only something which is akin...


KD: That's why I wondering why you made a distinction between, what the distinction was between the two terms, consciousness and Mind.  Because Nirvikalpa, I thought that was the whole thing that all thought including that presence of the Nous in soul is just wiped out and only the essential nature of the soul was what was experienced.


AS: Yes here we have the question...Let me try and say this again.  If this were wiped out, if the whole content, all thoughts were wiped out, we keep going around with this question alot.  What would result?  What exactly would result of emptying consciousness of every thought and form what-so-ever?  The entirety of all contents.  This is small ``t'' thought.  He seems to say the result is that ``only in the mysterious void of Pure Spirit, in the undifferentiated Mind, lies his last goal as a mystic.''  That means that consciousness or awareness is returned to its essence of mind.  Now I tried to say what that might mean.


AD: You understand that to be Nirvikalpa?


AS: That's what I understand to be Nirvikalpa.  That's what I understand nir-vi-kalpa to be.  The question that seems to keep coming up ``in this mysterious void of Pure Spirit, the undifferentiated Mind,'' there is a ``realization'' of something, okay--it's not a thought realization of any kind.  In fact in some places he says you only know it before you go in and after you come out.  So all that's happened is that consciousness has been returned to mind but the World Idea, the world has not been returned to mind.


AD: Yes.  Before you get to that, you're saying that there's no one there who realizes Nirvikalpa?


AS: There's nobody there who realizes it.  It's just as he says, ``the mysterious void of Pure Spirit, in the undifferentiated Mind.''  If it's undifferentiated mind there can't be any ego whatsoever.


AD: OK, but can't you say that the mind realizes itself?


AS: Yes, the Mind or the Void realizes itself.


AD: Then you're saying that the Void has realized itself, this is what Nirvikalpa means.


CdA: Can you explain that please?


AS: Void has realized itself in, you could say, in the highest phase of the Overself.  Which is itself of the nature of mind and therefore is Mind realizing itself in the Overself.


AD: So you could say-- From one point of view you could say there is some kind of realization going on in the sense that you saythat the Void has realized itself.  And this is what we mean when we say Nirvikalpa, that you reach egoless being.  The authentic intellectual principle within you has realized itself.


AS: I would ask a question about this.  If you talk about tracing the subject, the consciousness side, eliminating, separating off from consciousness all possible contents, this is the experience that you will get to?


AD: Yes.  The experience that you get is that of the Void Mind.


AS: And now maybe this is an aside but's not really related directly but do you think this is what the Hindu's would call Atman, the realization of Atman.


AD: It depends on which Hindu you're talking about.


AS: Then ignore that question.


AD: I would say yes.  I would say yes.  But generally I would still like to know what text you are referring to.


AS: Okay then let me just leave it.  What we're saying the Void realizes itself or the intellectual aspect of the soul is realizing itself.  It's a realization within soul.  We said sometimes it was Nous realizing itself within the soul.


AD: Or even if you say the soul's self-realization . . . which is a tautology.


CdA: I can't grasp that.


AD: Don't you see, you're asking what happens when you reach Nirvikalpa.  Since there's no ego the only response that can be given is that this is what you're talking about.  That the Void is realizing itself.


CdA: But that's even harder, it's even harder for me. . . .


AD: It's harder than to--it's harder than what?


CdA: How can you say that this Mind which is undifferentiated has some differentiation insofar as there's some realization?


AD: No.  Why do you insist on thinking that realization is some kind of differentiated act of knowledge?


CdA: Well, then that's where the problem lies.


AD: Well then just follow what I'm saying.  Mind's realization of itself as Mind is not a specific act of knowledge.


CdA: Can I proceed?


AD: Yes.  You just don't want to live with the paradox for a minute.  You want to argue with me.


CdA: I've been living with the paradox and I . . .


AD: Good.  I'm glad to hear that.


CdA: Is that all I have to do?  I don't have to try to inquire further?


AD: That's all you have to do is live with that paradox.


AS: This is a very short little thing where he says:


PB: ``If there is no such entity as a ``me'', an ego, you are entitled to ask who then has this enlightenment.   And the answer is the only possible one: it is the Void having the experience of itself: or rediscovering itself as it does in each person who attains this level.'' (25.2.221)


AD: What objection is there to that?  If you think of it as a specific act of knowledge, you're on the wrong track.  The Void's realization of itself is not a specific act of knowledge, it's not a piece of knowledge.  In other words it's ETERNAL.  The Void doesn't say, ``Ah! From this moment on, from this moment on, I am self-realized!''


CdA: So it's the Void Mind's realization of itself . . .


AD: Which is, like I said, a tautology.  Listen!


CdA: An eternal realization.


AD: It's a tautology!  What's a tautology?


CdA: ``A rose is a rose is a rose.''


AD: Yes. Good.  So you say the Void has realized itself has realized itself has realized itself. (laughter)


AS: Actually a tautology is saying realization has realized itself.


CdA: That's exactly what bothers me.  Because you've made this sound like this is an answer and it's not.


AD: But it is!  A paradox IS an answer!


CdA: It's a tautology.


AD: You want a verbal answer?  You want a couple of more words?  It's the paradox that's the answer.  Why not?  Now the other part is the important part, right?  That's not enough, that's not enough of a realization.  That the Void Mind knows itself to be Void.


AS: Which it does anyway. (hard to hear comments)  Should we finish questions on that?


AD: Yes, let's continue.


AH: I have a question on the second part.


AS: Okay.  Anything else on the first part?  We can come back to the first part.


AD: The second part is, of course, what Andrew and Sydney are trying to figure out.


AH: That's a real issue.  I've got a desperate question.


AS: I thought you would but...


LR: The only problem I have is how do you keep from what you called the error of the fallacy of divine identification.  In other words, there's no difference being brought out.  When you say the Void Mind is realizing itself, why wouldn't someone think that he was then...


AS: Why because he's not there.  If he's not there then the fallacy of divine identity is the ego saying he's there afterwards, for example.


LR: Right, I understand that it's afterwards that...


AS: Well, then there's no way to stop that.


VM: The way to stop that is by understanding the second part. . . .


LR: In the explanation of the experience itself doesn't there also have to be some distinction made between Overself and Mind even if the distinction is practically naught, naughted out in that experience.  Even if there is no individuality, the way we would think of it, there is no ``I-ness'', nonetheless the Overself does not become Nous.  Okay?  In the explanation of the Void realizing itself or just speaking of this universal mind don't you also have to speak of Overself or doesn't you explanation lead to that focus.


VM: The only thing I was going to say is, Anthony I guess made the point that there is no ego there to make the false identification between itself and the divine.  The other sort of positive side of it is, if you understand the second part, that is that both the ego and the world are unfolded from mind then you won't understand the ego to be identical with the divine.  But I don't think that quite speaks to what you're trying to address which is--how does one still, in this thought free state maintain the distinction between our highest level of individuality or superindividuality, the Overself, and the One or the principle of Mind.


LR: In the thought-free state.  I'm not saying that in the thought-free state you maintain the difference because there is no one knowing.  It's possible to think that you've become God or you've become the same as mind because there isn't a distinction in the actual experience.


VM: There's no you.


LR: There doesn't seem to be an ``I'', yet there does seem to be in P.B.'s metaphysics a maintenance of that distinction always.  In his own experience he says he doesn't talk to God, he talks to the Overself.  So doesn't there have to be room for that distinction even if it tends to be naughted.


RC: Would you establish the distinction as being anything more than the proper concept?  In terms of you putting it to the subjective pole, it seems to me where Anthony keeps coming back and saying ``being cannot be quantitatively related.''  But it sees that what really distinguishes an Overself or the Overself from the World Mind is in terms of the specific series of ideas with which the Overself is in historical relation.  Whereas the World Mind is not restricted to a specific series or any kind of idea....


RG: Well, if you follow that through, the conclusion of that is in Nirvikalpa, then the mind that has that realization has the entirety of Intellectual Principle available to it.


RC: I think only from one side.


RG: No, but that's the side of being.  If you take it from the side of ontic realization, we've eliminated the side of manifestation because this realization transcends that but if you say that there's no distinction between Overself, World Mind and Nous then you have to hold that that realization encompasses everything.


AS: . . . We had this conception once, if you take mind transforming itself into all of its ideas--this is the Divine Mind.  He says ``therefore the fact that the Divine Mind itself knows your being, confers reality upon it and in fact the Divine Mind's knowing of your own soul's reality is the very essence of your soul.''  And I think that's all he's saying and it doesn't necessarily that you are the Divine Mind per se or the One.  From eternity the Divine Mind knows your essence.  That knowing that the Divine Mind has of your essence is your essence.


RG: There's no your there to be an essence of.


AS: . . . In the empirical we could still distinguish between those divine principles which the Divine Mind has established which includes soul and the Nous.  But maybe the experience of Nous, the non-experience of the Nous is even beyond that.


DB: The quote itself, I mean he's speaking of undifferentiated mind. Now is it possible that you could speak about differentiated mind and still not be referring to the distinctions apparent in manifestation?  I mean the distinction between the Overself, the Intellectual Principle, and so forth.  From this level it seems as if they represent some form of differentia but this particular experience he's referring to could be an awareness of completely undifferentiated mind.


AS: So then what would you say then that the undifferentiated mind is?


DB:  You mean, you want me to differentiate above the levels of manifestation...


AS: You said that, you claim that there might be levels of differentiated mind or there be some notion of differentiated mind which is still above manifestation or above change.


DB: We speak all the time of levels of differentiation, the entirety of Intellectual Principle with all of its Ideas, that doesn't sound to me the way I would ordinarily understand what undifferentiated mind is supposed to mean.


LR: One clue might be that he says ``only in the mysterious Void of pure spirit.''  He doesn't say, ``in the mysterious Void.''  He adds the ``mysterious Void of Pure Spirit,'' as if to say the Divine Mind in the soul.  Perhaps, I mean I'm just throwing that out as a possibility for confusion.  He does equate that with undifferentiated mind.  He's speaking about the Void in pure spirit which I am taking to be Overself.


VM: It seems to me that we have established this first point that PB's making.  The mystic must achieve the Nirvikalpa state which can be understood as thought-free, contentless . . .


AD: Could you refer to that as undifferentiated?


VM: Undifferentiated.


AD: Could you refer to that as thought-free?


VM: Thought-free egoless being.


AD: Could you refer to that as Void?


VM: Yes.


AD: Then you are not referring to that Void or that undifferentiated mind, you're not thinking of it as the One or the Intellectual Principle.  Is that so, Linda?  Or are you saying that just because you reduce yourself to Nirvikalpa you've reduced yourself to the Void Mind?  Is that what you're saying?


AS: Say that last sentence again.


AD: In other words what they're thinking is, when through this process of introspection I get to Nirvikalpa samhadi, I get to Void, the Void Mind.  And what PB is saying is no, you're getting to that mind, that principle of intellectuality that you are, your ``I- Am,'' the Overself.  That's not the Void Mind, the second hypostasis.  And it's not the One, the first hypostasis.  If you think that, it is then you are suffering from the delusions that you have become the One.


LR: That's precisely the distinction I wanted to bring out.


AD: Well, isn't that what we're trying to make clear.


AS: I think that Linda's question is that, which is what I've tries to speak to, then how do we distinguish that, how come even conceptually . . .


AD: Do we have to distinguish that?


AS: Well, that's...


CdA: In P.B.'s terminology it would be nice to make the distinction possible.  When he says ``undifferentiated mind,'' does that always mean Overself?


AD: Yes, because until you get to that, to speak about the more interior states such as the first and second hypostasis is out of the question.


AS: He brings in later three deepenings of the Void but I don't think that's the point here.


AD: The point here is that the quotation that he is using is what you've got to the context in.  Now that is the first aspect of the quote, alright.  The second aspect of the quote is that part that we were discussing Friday night.  Which is now you have the ego as included in the World Idea and you know them to be a series of ideas, one following upon the other.  Now what do you do?


AH: I have a question.


AD: We want to pick it up from here.  Now I would like Avery to repeat how he answers that.


VM: I was just interested in asking a methodological question.  It seems that this quote doesn't address this issue of the relationship between the Voidness of the individual mind and the higher principles and that in some ways we are betraying our effort of the simplest understanding first.  In other words, the methodology that people were trying to encourage initially, so I was just going to encourage that we move on to the second point and try and unfold that and then if necessary build up from there.


AD: I'm sorry, I lost your point.


AS: He said let's move on.


AD: He said let's move on?


VM: No, I thought that the whole idea was to get out the simple understanding of the quote, and I was going to encourage us to do it.


AD: There's no such thing!  There's no such thing as simple understanding.  As you understood this, it wasn't simple!  You understood for one thing, the I-Am principle as distinct from the Intellectual Principle and the principle of the One.  And if you understood that distinction you will understand the next distinction that you can't identify with that, otherwise then you'd have what he calls divine madness.


AS: Divine identity.


AD: And number three you would be realizing the I-Am principle or the Overself in this very peculiar way as the principle of intellectuality which you are.  The I-Am which seems to keep coming up over and over again, what is the nature about my soul.  And the reason why we're doing it is because we're trying to answer that question, what is the dual nature of the soul all about.


AS: And he's only realizing the STILLNESS of his mind.  The still nature of his mind.  Not the active nature of his mind.  I think that's important because that  where the second part of the quote is going to come in.


CdA: Can you indulge in just one more question on this before we go to the other quote.


AD: Go ahead.


CdA: When you speak about the Overself, in this way, as pure undifferentiated mind, if you were going to just theoretically make a distinction about this essence of mind, if you were going to theoretically distinguish this mind essence from that, say of the Absolute Soul of the World, could you do it?


AD: Of course you can.  Wasn't there enough quotes prior where PB kept on pointing out that this I-Am Principle is a reflected image of the Divine . . .




AD: You can't ask that question.


CdA: I said theoretically.


AD: I said you can't even ask that question.


RG: Even theoretically you can't.


CdA: It seems that if we're saying that, we're asking...but if in fact you can never identify the Overself with the hypostasis, the Void and so forth but that experience of pure mind is's a different essence of pure mind.


AD: When there's an experience of the One.


CdA: No, Nirvikalpa.


AD: Oh, Nirvikalpa.


CdA: Because that mind is different, the experience,'s a's essentially different mind.  That's all I want to say.  It's essentially a different mind.  It can never be so...I just want to make that clear.


AD: Tell me what you mean because I don't know what you're trying to make clear to me.


RG: That Overself is essentially different than Nous and the Nous is essentially different than the One.


AD: You do have different words for them, don't you?


CdA: Well, we just had this question the other day and it's still very unclear to me.


AD: Let me go on refereeing.  Now, Avery, will you tell me what the second part of that means?


AS: I would be happy to.  Let's at least leave the questions on that for now.  The second... ``Two things have to be learned.''  The first thing is this consciousness being freed of all contents whatsoever, returned to it's essence as Mind.  So the Overself or I-Am realizes itself as this pure essence of mind.  And that's also a stillness.  No activity and no content.  Undifferentiated.  That leaves a problem because obviously the world still comes back for him.  So the second is ``to grasp the essential nature of the ego and of the universe and to obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves within our minds.  This is the metaphysics of Truth.''  And then he'll say that ``the combination...''


AD: Now what is that trying to point out?


AS: A couple of things.  He says, ``to grasp the essential nature of the ego and the universe and to obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves within our minds.''  Actually the second, is ``the direct perception that these are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves in our mind,'' seems to be related to ``grasping the essential nature of the ego and the universe.''  The point being that upon coming back there's been a realization of the pure consciousness.  Consciousness has been separated from all the thoughts, but he comes back and even if he has a remembrance that there was nothing there--I don't know how it happens--but he comes out of that and the world is still there.  So the world has disappeared but now the world is back again.  And now he has--to the world is back and so is his ego and he has to relate his experience of a world as still appearing to this mysterious undifferentiated essence of mind.  There's still a dualism.  And what he has to realize now is to get a direct perception that the nature of the world, too, is nothing but mind-essence.  If we say nothing but, we have to say that the nature this changing world content is also mind essence.  Now that seems to be realizing that mind is also active as well as still.  And that a realization of mind as active would be to grasp that the essential nature of the ego and the universe is the activity of mind.  In other words instead of viewing now . . . he starts out--the world appears, next he has some experience, if you can call it that, of undifferentiated mind.  Now he has to see that the essential nature of the ego and the universe is as the activity of this mind, or the activity of mind.  Rather than viewing it as other.  ``And to obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold themselves within our mind.''  Now I take it, when I put this together with the very last sentence, ``the combination of these two activities brings about the realization of his true Being as the ever beautiful and eternally beneficent Overself,''-- contrary to what you would have thought, he doesn't know, realize his true being as eternally beneficent and so on from the first experience, which is surprising.  But it takes the second one to realize the ever-beautiful and eternally beneficent Overself, and I take that to be because the I-Am includes as part of its nature this active aspect as well or this emanating aspect which is imagining, putting forth or manifesting the World Idea and therefore he has to realize that, in order that he gets a true realization of his true being as including both aspects.  Or, I mean ``and'' when he says, ``eternally beneficent Overself,'' I take it that since this one, this experience comes and goes from the point of view of a person back in the world, he needs to have the experience that the pure mind can be retained even while the world appears.


LR: And who has that experience, that second one?


AS: That second one.  The second is to grasp the essential nature of the ego and of the universe.  To obtain direct perception that both are nothing but a series of ideas.  Who has that one?  In the second one I would say that the `who' could include the ego.  That was part of the problem I think, that in the first one the ego was not included.  Now the ego is back so the realization has to permeate to the ego.


LR: Is that the direct perception that he's speaking of?  He uses the words 'direct perception.'  Is that direct perception that he's speaking of with both the ego and world as idea?


AD: Will you let me take over, you'll be able to get the question answered.  You're gonna just jumble it up?  I'm going to walk out...let's try, okay.  I don't have too much breath.  In the second part of the quotation he says we have to come to a realization that the world and the ego is an idea.  Right?  Is that what he's saying?  Now how could we realize that unless we are in a state of Nirvikalpa?  In other words for the possibility of manifestation to occur, you are ALWAYS in Nirvikalpa.  Between two thoughts there is MIND, undifferentiated mind all the time.  We're talking about your mind.  If there was differentiated mind what would there be between two thoughts?  In other words if we're saying that the World Idea is manifested in your consciousness, then we're saying that there's a series of ideas coming into your consciousness or into your mind.  Does the mind also come in a series of thoughts? 


St: No.


AD: Then the mind is always, so to speak, in that undifferentiated state and the World Idea is streaming in, one thought after the other.  Go ahead, take it from there.


AS: I've got to call on somebody else.


AD: No, take it from there.


AH: This quote refers to the necessity of a direct perception, that's a reference to that mind without the staccato-like movement.


AD: That's a reference to that mind TAKING IN that staccato-like movement.


AH: Yes, that's what I said.


AD: Exactly.  In other words when he says that the World Idea is given to the individual mind, it's the same as saying that the World Mind is presenting to the individual mind the idea of the world in this staccato-like series.


AH: The staccato-like series in this quote, are nothing but a series of ideas which unfold, and the direct perception has to be juxtaposed to that series.


AD: The direct perception is the perception of the World Idea as it's being given to it by the World Mind.


AS: As it's being given to our I-Am principle by the World Mind.


AH: Correct.  I guess I have a different question.


AD: I'm sorry.  I didn't hear you.


AH: From the point of view of the series of ideas, that's a relative or differentiated level of thought, the series of ideas.


AD: I don't see what that has to do with the point.


AH: I'm trying to understand in my own clumsy way what direct perception is.


AD: Well, try my clumsy way.


AS: He's saying that the thoughts just drop directly into consciousness.  You've already gotten this consciousness, you've come to a realization of this pure consciousness or undifferentiated mind and NOW there is a direct perception once the thoughts come back.  If you could hold on to that pure consciousness somehow, then when these thoughts come back, that would be a direct perception of their arisal.  And a direct perception is the direct presence of the changing World Idea or content to that consciousness.


AD: Before you jump off the diving board, think for a minute.


AH: This can more properly be referred to an experience than the first state? Is it more appropriate to speak of this second level as a kind of experience whereas in the first case technically it's not really any experience?


AD: I don't think I follow you.  See in the first case I would say like in the quotation from Atmananda.  This man comes over and tells Atmananda, you know I can go into Nirvikalpa trance for hours.  He says fine, thats good, okay, but that's not enough.  Now you bring that mind to the World Idea and understand the World Idea and then you become a philosopher.  The same thing here.  It's not enough to reduce the mind to a blank state, a thoughtless state, no thoughts in it.  Once the mind is, so to speak, at your disposal, alert, dynamic, attentive then you bring that to bear on the World Idea and on the ego, to be able to see that these are a series of ideas coming through your consciousness.


AH: Anthony, is the second realization a cognitive one?


AD: Why just cognitive?  It's also an evaluative one, it's also a very beautiful and ecstatic one.  Why do you think of it only as cognitive?  Remember there could be like the one you quoted to me.  There was this man who looked at a scene and it looked like a frozen still.  He was mortified by the ethereal beauty of it.  It's not only cognitive, it's also an aesthetic experience.  Sure, it's like the first time you ever saw the rain.  You never really experienced rain, until your mind is in that state.  Then you experience crying for the first time, I mean the rain for the first time.  But getting back to what Avery is trying to do is the important thing now.  The importance of recognizing the problem that's come up Friday which was that in the second part of this quote, the Buddhists are going to come and explain EVERYTHING from that second part.  In other words, they're going to explain the ego, the functions that the ego has--memory, reasoning, etc, and all that--they're going to explain it from the point of view of the World Mind and this process that's coming out of the World Mind--the World Idea which is being delivered by the World Mind.  So they'll be able to say, ``I can explain memory to you from that point of view, I can explain identity to you, from that point of view.  I can explain anything you want, I don't need a soul, I don't need an I-Am principle.''  That's what you're going to get into Friday or we're going to get into, I hope.


AS: I still don't have this one...I don't know...I have one question on this last part.


AD: Go ahead.


AS: When he says, ``the combination of these two activities brings about the realization of his true Being as the ever beautiful and eternally beneficent Overself,'' I understand that now the realization can be continuous whether there's thinking or not thinking.  That part I understand.  But the other thing is the realization of his true being, that somehow it still seems that the second thing is tied up with trying to gain a fuller understanding of what the nature of the I-Am principle is that is not gained in the first realization.  That in the first realization there isn't a realization that the I-Am principle is directly manifesting this world series, if you want to put it that way.  It doesn't seem to be a realization of that direct manifestation because there's nothing to be manifested in the Void or in the Nirvikalpa state.  So unless that principle is held on to while there's a changing world series, you can realize the other aspect of that Overself.


AD: I agree with you.  You're saying that the fullness of the realization takes place only after the second part is completed.


AS: That's what I was trying to understand when he says, ``the realization of his true Being--''


AD: Very good.


AS: --``can only come about.''


DB: I would like to just ask because Avery what you brought up is something that I still don't understand...


AD: You have to speak up, David!


DB: The first part of this quote we discussed as being the Void Mind's realization of itself, this tautological paradox that we talked about for a long time, and I would like to understand precisely how that is not a realization of its true Being?  If it's a self-realization of the mysterious Void's own essence, being, whatever, and how is that not a realization of it as being ever beautiful and eternally beneficent Overself.


AD: But that is the realization.  It's not the realization of the ego, though.


DB: No, no.  The ego's bad and the ego stopped before it got in but what I don't understand is, what is. The disciple's ascent gets him all the way up to the top and then the ego shuts down and the mysterious Void realizes itself, then later on the ego starts up again and so it has a problem and then there has to be this direct perception of the World Idea as being unfolded within the mind.  What I don't understand is from the perspective of this eternal realization of this mysterious Void which is spoken of in the first part, how is that like only a partial realization of its true Being?


RG?: Because it's a temporary condition.


DB: No, what's temporary, the only thing that's temporary is the fact that the ego lapsed.  From It's perspective It's eternal.


RG?: Yes, but you can't maintain that perspective.


RC: What if you said that the Void is an experience of true being but its not in anyway what you could call your true being.  In order to know your true being, your ego's got to be included in that knowledge.


DB: So in order for me to know my true Being, you see all of a sudden the first part we didn't have the ego and in the second part we have, so the his that your referring to in the second to the last sentence of the..., the his is the ego.


AD: Put it this way, David.  From the point of view of the person, I'm sorry, from the point of view of the Mind that has had the realization, that is timeless.  From the point of view of the ego that is going to claim that, it happened at 3:10 p.m. and there's no contradiction here.  They're paradoxical but no contradiction.


RG: But the quote was also saying that even for the Overself, the Overself's nature is dual.  It both is the stillness of Nirvikalpa and it is the principle which manifests all the world thought. And a complete realization of the Overself has to include both.  If you just hold to the Void realization, it's only half of the realization.


TS: What was mentioned was that the Overself is that Void Mind or that persistent being in the Nirvikalpa state and it is only when that applies itself to the World Idea, does it directly perceive that the thought activity that is occurring within it is not of its essence but is of the essence of the World Mind, that the being of the Overself differentiates itself from the World Mind.  And in the realization of the individual's being is as his own being.


RG: I think that's reading alot into what was said.  I don't follow that at all.  I mean, you may be right but don't think that was within our discussion.  You'd have to draw that out.


CdA: Would you mind saying that again, just a little simpler.  I just didn't understand what you said.


TS: I thought I was taking something which Anthony mentioned and trying to see if I understood it.  I thought he was saying that between every two thoughts, the Void Mind of the Overself continues, it's continuous in its state or condition of Nirvikalpa and it is that Void Mind or unconditioned consciousness of the Overself that is capable of directly perceiving the infusion of the World Idea into its being, through the act of the World Mind.  Now it seemed to me then that in seeing that it's not the manifesting activity of the Overself that is creating the ego and the universe, within the I-Am, but that it's the Overself's unconditioned consciousness direct perception of the World Mind's activity within itself, the Nous within the Overself, that is the active phase that is manifesting the ego and the universe.  Therefore when the Overself realizes its true being, it is realizing its true being as differentiatable from the being of the World Mind through its recognition of the activity of the World Mind within itself.


AD: Very good, thank you.


AH: Tim, you described the Overself doing all these different things and it seems to have the quality that you would normally ascribe to differentiated mind, the way that you describe this process, it directs itself, it differentiates.  You seem to be describing this principle of undifferentiated mind as being in some way capable of making differentiations within itself.  It seems more appropriate to describe it as, it's possible to speak of it as self-realization but anything beyond that would be very difficult to describe logically.  You see my point?


TS: No.


AD: You must realize that the knowledge that you have or that is given to you, in other words, that the World Idea is being received directly by the authentic intellectuality, is not knowledge which is coming from the ego.  It's something which can only come from the Soul.  It's knowledge that properly belongs to the soul.  You're not going to get it from any other source.


AH: Is that a reply to my comment?


AD: No, I'm asking you to look at it that way.


AH: I think I can look at it that way but it seems that it would be important to avoid describing the principle of undifferentiated mind as having activities.  The activity is on the side of differentiated mind.


AD: The activity is on the side of the World Mind that projects the Intellectual Principle or the World Idea in to the individual mind.


AH: Yes, but World Mind and Overself are distinct.  World Mind and Overself must be held distinct.


AD: In conversation--yes.


AH: The direct perception is on the part of differentiated mind or . . .


AD: Direct perception is on the part of mind.  Why call it differentiated?


AH: It perceives itself.


AD: I mean, what the Hindus are saying is that Atma received the World Idea from Brahman.


AH: What does direct perception perceive?  What's the content of direct perception?


RG: The flow of thoughts.


AS: I think he says it's parted without partibility, is how Plotinus would put it.  That in the perception even though there's a partible thought world, it's still unparted.  The principle of knowing is unparted.  They say it's parted without partibility.  It's present to the partible world image with out itself being parted in any way.  Without losing it's undifferentiated nature . . . thought stream.  I can follow it the way Tim said but there's something, the peculiar consequence is that the nature of the World Mind is both still and active, but that the nature of the Overself, the essential nature of the Overself is not.  I can't follow that because I understood that the paradoxical nature of the Overself was to be both still and active, certainly as well as World Mind.


AD: No, I don't see it that way, Avery.  The essential nature of the  I-Am principle is absolute stillness.  The activity that you speak about belongs to the World Mind, not to the Overself.


RG: Then the emanent soul . . .


AD: The emanation is from the World Mind.


RG: . . . which the Overself projects is all on the side of the World Idea.


AD: To what does wakeful consciousness belong to?  To what does Taijasa consciousness belong to?


RG: Both.


AD: I'm saying no.


AS: Pinning it to the World Mind, to the World Idea.


RG: Why are you saying that?


TS: `Cause it's Wednesday.


AD: Did we say or didn't we say that the principle of intellectuality is an unrelational consciousness which stands above all relationship.  Didn't we say that's what the Overself is or the soul?  Why are you trying to say that it's also wakeful consciousness, sleep consciousness and dream consciousness?


RG: Because we've talked about it as having a dual nature.


AD: Yes, what's the dual nature?


RG: That it has it's Nirvikalpa . . .


AD: It sends out something from itself which participates in the World Idea.  This participation in the World Idea means that it's going to participate in wakeful consciousness, dream consciousness, and sleep consciousness.


RG: But if we try to talk about that emanent prior to its participation in the World Idea, and posterior to its identity with the Overself as utter stillness, what status does that have?


AD: Try again.


RG: You spoke of the Overself as an offshoot of...


AD: Yeah, the embodying soul, yes.


RG: The embodying soul.  You said it relates itself to the World Idea, so if we consider the emanent soul prior to its relation to the World Idea and posterior to its identity with the Overself as utter stillness, what is the status of that...


AD: You'd like to know that, wouldn't you!?  Just go to the back of the book and look up the answer.  What is the status of the embodying soul, what kind of consciousness does it have?


RG: You tell us.


AS: . . .


AD: Go ahead.


AS: It's tied up with the question of what the nature of the soul is, what the nature of the Overself is.  Because if you say that the soul just the pure undifferentiated consciousness, that leaves no room in it for an embodying aspect, which may be okay but--


LR: I thought the only Overself was the recepticle of manifestation. . . .


AD: You see, this is where I would bring the conversation to an end and say let's go on to another quote.  It would be answered soon enough but I wouldn't get off on it now.  I think the quotation was covered.  I think Avery made enough comments as to what the meaning of that quotation is and that we made some side remarks to elaborate that.  And I think now we should go on and not pick up another question which does not properly belong to this here.  Someone else.  Someone please.  Go right up there and scream at us.  Thank you, Avery.


AS: You're welcome.


AD: The whole idea is for a person to get up there, read it in a meaningful way so that we can all hear it.  Yell at us and then quiet for a moment or two, then you make your comments, we make ours.  Try to keep the discussion on the quote.  Don't deviate too far.  Somebody will have to referee and say, `look, you're going too far away.'  Alright because very often you try to answer questions that are legitimate but they're not about that quote.  So just restrict yourself to that quote and when you think you've enough of an understanding about it, go on to your next quote.  Give yourself a little time, in a year or two you'll be able to come up with a systematic organized outline of PB's teachings.  You will, I mean that.


VM: Anthony, I just want to ask a brief question and that is in the format that you envision, there's no particular theme that's picked up.


AD: No, I'd rather leave it free so that you people, you know, let your interest guide you.  Like Avery was interested in this problem.  Someone may be interested in the problem of the ego.  Another-- Whatever the problem that interests you, follow that one.  Because unless you're interested you won't use it for a meditation theme and that's the other thing I have in the back of my mind.  That eventually you'll say, well, I'm going to sit down and meditate on this theme.  That's really good.  Like the one Avery picked out is meditation material.  Let's try it.


(KD reads:)


PB: ``Ordinarily the ego is the agent of action.  This is apparent.  But if an enquiry is set going and its source and nature penetrated successfully, a surprising discovery about the `I' will be made.  Its true energy is derived from non-I, pure being.'' 8.1.41 (reread)


AD: Why don't you tell us what your feelings are?


KD: After the last half hour I don't know anymore.  Really I'm all confused.  I thought about this quote, meditated on it and I came up with some surprising things about it.  Honestly I...


AD: Tell us what you think it means.  Don't worry about what we said a half hour ago.


KD: Okay, I think what he's saying is...The first sentence is ``Ordinarily the ego is the agent of action.''  And I think he's saying here ordinarily we take the ego to be the doer.  In other words the series of ideas and preferences and beliefs, we ordinarily take them as being the source of action.  Like I'm going to do something.  He says ``This is apparent.''  He says, ``If an inquiry is set going and its source and nature penetrated successfully a surprising discovery about the `I' will be made.''  The reason I really picked this quote because I'm intrigued by his use of the word inquiry and what surprised me he didn't say you stop thought and you get to the source and nature of the ego but he says you use this, whatever this term means, this inquiry.  And then he said, ``Its true energy is derived from non-I, pure Being.''  So I think he's saying that the...ordinarily we take the ego to be the doer but he's saying that what really motivates our action, the real doer is not this ego, this complex of thoughts and ideas but its true energy is derived from the non-I or pure Being and I would say that's the presence of that Nous in the soul.  So what we were just talking about before when we distinguished these two aspects of the I-Am, on the one hand pure consciousness and on the other hand the presence of the World Mind, I think what he's talking about here is that presence of the World Mind in the soul.  The idea that came to me just a little while ago is this and this is what I think kind of contradicts what we said before, I sort of got the feeling that he's saying that if you trace back the ego which is a series of thoughts and ideas and you get all the way back to pure being or this presence of the Nous in the Soul, I got the feeling that there's this immediate connection between these ideas at the level of the Nous in the soul and what we experience as these thoughts and preferences and ideas that we call our ego.  And if that's the case then what we're talking about is like a transformation of thought in its highest level down to what we experience as our ego.  And if that's the case then maybe when he uses the word inquiry, that inquiry doesn't mean stopping of thought, in some way it might refer to the use of thought to penetrate into its own nature.  So what really grabbed me by the time I finished thinking about this was the mystery of thought.  You know, that thought which at the highest level is the presence of the Nous transforms itself down into our experience of the ego and if you can hook into that and get into, . . . somehow inquire into the nature of thought itself, it can take you all the way back to this highest level of the World Idea in the I-Am principle.


AH: As inquiry?


KD: I don't know, I'm just saying that's what...


AH: Kathleen, where's you get the notion of the ideas in the Nous from this quote?


KD: I don't get it from me at all.  I had no terminology until Anthony, over a series of classes described the I-Am as having this dual nature.


AH: In this quote, where do you get the pure Being?


KD: The last sentence says, ``it's true energy is derived from non-I, pure Being.''  If I first heard this quote I would have said, I would have thought to myself, I you asked me, where does the ego come from, I would have thought it comes from the Overself or it's an off shoot of the Overself because of other quotes we read.  Here he seems to be saying that no, that the ego can be directly related back to, not this essential nature of the soul which is consciousness but it's World Mind sending out, moment to moment its World Idea.


AH: You're equating pure beingness with something else.  You're interpreting that what he means by pure being is the ideas in the Nous or the World Idea or...


KD: No, not the ideas in the Nous. The only way I could understand it in terms of like the drawing here.  When we draw the circle and we say the I-Am and the presence of the Nous in the I-Am principle is the only way I could figure he was saying pure being and non-I.  On the other hand he also uses World Mind, I think, as being pure Being, although I'm not sure.  He's also used the term World Mind to refer to the presence of those ideas in the I-Am principle.


AH: I just don't understand where you see that notion.


JB: When the quote says that the energy comes from pure being and you're just saying that, in the same way you're saying pure being is the presence of the Nous, you're saying that energy is the ideas.  Your notion is that the ideas are transformed into thought and that the energy is the ideas, in the same way that the presence of the Nous is the Being.


KD: I think the reason he uses energy, not its true being or its true nature or something like that when we use the term energy it doesn't sound like that staccato, moment to moment motion and so you're thinking doesn't hinge on an appearance of a sensible image and then trace it back to it to its source as some kind of super image because of the use of the word, of that word energy.  You get this idea that there's some kind of information...


JB: When you say there's a difference between energy and the essence, then you suggest that there is also a still essence that is an origin from the side, from a different side than the side than the side of ideas.


KD: I don't think he addresses that issue in this quote at all.


JB: No, but your interpretation included a difference between the essence if you looked to trace the ego to its source as essence, said that was different than tracing the energy to its source as the ideas.


KD: I wouldn't affirm that point. It just struck me that his use of that word would apply to that but I can't really say that...


AD: Let's try, let's try.  Read the first phrase.


PB: ``Ordinarily the ego is the agent of action.''


AD: That seems to mean that I will always refer to myself as the agent.  I'm the doer.


KD: I'm the doer, right, the natal chart.  The personality.


AD: That's the first part.


KD: ``This is apparent but if an inquiry is set going and its source and nature penetrated successfully a surprising discovery about the I will be made.''


AD: Now the inquiry is into the nature of the I or the nature of the ego?  The nature of the ego.


KD: Yes.  ``But if an inquiry is set going and its source and nature penetrated successfully,'' and I assume that ``its'' refers back to the ego as the agent of action.  ``A surprising discovery about the I will be made.  Its true energy is derived from non-I, pure Being.''  Maybe the real doer isn't who I think it is.


AD: For instance, so if we used an example, we would say the real doer is the transiting planets.  That's the real doer.  The other one claims he's a doer.  That might be a way of looking at it.  If you set an inquiry into the nature of what this ego is, you realize that it's a puppet, it's more or less manipulated by these forces which are part of the universe, the movement of the universe.  So this ego goes around saying, ``I'm doing this and I'm doing that, I got a great idea,'' and you got like eighteen conjunctions going on.  ``I got the great idea,'' but you know that this energy doesn't belong to the ego.  It belongs to the universe or what we call the undivided mind.


KD: And also the immediacy of this is implied.  You know, I have an abundant store of energy immediately available to go do what ever I want to do.  You know, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that.  And when he says, ``It's true energy is derived from non-I, pure Being,'' . . .


AD: Non-I, yes.  So for instance you got saturn squaring your mars or sun squaring your mars, you say, ``where's my energy?''


KD: So it takes this whole thing.  Like when we speak of ones higher than the other and you think of the Nous and the ideas in the soul as some where far back . . .


AD: But that's why it's nice to use astrology for an example because it's so specific.  You know I don't think I have to explain to people, very often they'll see certain aspects going on in their chart, they're dead.  They got no energy and as soon as they start feeling they got energy, they say, ``I'm energetic,'' but what they really mean is that jupiter is trine something and they're feeling good.  If they got energy, that's what they mean.  But language doesn't use that kind of precision.


KD: My question is: what does he mean by inquiry here in this quote?


AD: What do you think we've been doing for the past few years?


KD: But I think it must mean more than that because . . .


AD: More than that?!  All right.  Haven't had enough?


KD: What really hit me after thinking about this for two weeks was this unseparated thinking activity.  It starts all the way at the level of the World Mind and then becomes this personality and its world of appearance and so to me that really extends and magnifies the mystery of thought.


AD: That's what inquiry means, what we've been doing the past dozen years.  That's what it means.  What do you think I've been doing, shoveling?  I've been inquiring.  I've had your assistance, right?  We've all been inquiring into the nature of these things.  That's what inquiry means.  And it will set you going and you'll come up with answers that will just boggle your mind.  I think that PB stopped prematurely for certain very good reasons.


CdA: Stopped inquiry?


AD: Yes, stopped inquiry prematurely.  For reasons like he pointed out, he says, ``I'm a pioneer.  I've got to lay down the basis.  Others will come that will give more information.''  He stopped at a certain place.  Where his work told him to stop, that's where he stopped.  But what I'm saying is there's more to what he says and it will come out and we've done a little of that.  The inquiries we've been doing have been concerned with that.


KD: My question would then be this.  We've spoken about the use of thought that turns upon itself to discover the nature of thinking.  And I was wondering if that's also what he means by that in addition to the philosophic inquiry which takes your mind out of the . . .


AD: When thought turns upon itself, of course, then you have a species of jnana.


KD: . . .


AD: Once though turns upon itself you're talking about a different kind of knowledge.


KD: When thought turns upon itself and you have this different kind of knowledge, it reaches a point where thinking stops, I've heard you say.  In that experience there is the realization of the distinction between consciousness and thought.


AD: Yes, a distinction between what thought is and the consciousness of thought.


KD: That's what I thought you meant by that.


AD: I didn't think that was so difficult, Kathleen.  You have to be careful not to get hung up on a word.  We've been doing a lot of inquiring the past dozen years about these things.  And I think at times the inquiries get very very intense.  I don't know about you . . .




AH: ...inquire, rather than discovering an I-Am principle or a soul principle.  It seems to suggest here that specific-thought-turned-upon-thought-kind-of-inquiry in regards to sense of I, and if it's done in the right way the conclusion is the basis, is non-I.


AD: Yes, which means the whole of the solar system, the whole universe, our universe as far as we're concerned, and that is in the nature of a non-I, non-ego.


DB: With respect with just this specific quote, I think if I remember what Kathleen had read was that the source of the ego's energy was traceable to the non-I, to the entire solar system, the transiting planets, whatever.  Would it also be true to say that in addition to the providing energy for this ego, that this non-I also provides for the ability for this objective part of the World Idea to take itself as subjective?


AD: Yes.


DB: That comes from there, too?


AD: Yes.


DB: Okay.


AD: Let's try another quote, come on.  Go ahead, please.


EC: May I sit here?


AD: No, up there and yell at us.


EC: You know, I'm inexperienced.


AD: But that's the way we get experience.  Come on, Eleanor.


EC: A little change of mood, okay.  Not very far off.  This popped out of PB's original notes when we were working the other night and we read it and all enjoyed it so I thought you would too and it's on astrology.


PB: ``The horoscope indicates the future only for ordinary people and can never become a fixed certainty for the spiritually awakened.  For wherever an individual has come under Divine Grace, he directly or indirectly through a teacher can be rendered independent of his past karma at any moment that the Divine wills it to be so.  The will is free because Man is Divine and the Divine Self is free.'' 9.3.459 (reread)


Eleanor: There were just two points.  I'm not going to go over all the meanings of that.  You'll do that. (laughter)  We have been doing charts of the some of the Great Ones and using the chart itself to show when they were awakened or had experiences which he doesn't indicate here necessarily.  And then the other part is in Avery's Plotinus class's he's been talking about Providence and Necessity and I thought both those points would be discussed in this particular...


VM: I didn't understand it.


EC: I didn't meditate on it.  It just popped out yesterday but it is so beautiful and so special that I wanted to share it with you.  So you'll have to share it with me now.


KD: Why don't you tell us why you thought it was beautiful.


(Quote reread.)


CdA: Eleanor, do you think that's anything less than a sage?


EC: I have no idea.  ``Spiritually awakened''...I think there are moments for those that aren't sages that could be accounted for.  It certainly is for the sage but I don't think he just meant the sage.  I think there are moments on the way up that divine grace comes to you.


CdA: So it would be only for those moments the cosmic circuit would be ineffectual and then but only permanently would that be so, with the sage.


TS: He doesn't say the cosmic circuit.  He says the natal chart.


EC: He's talking about the natal chart here.


CdA:  Yes, I mean there would be no--for the sage I would understand that he's no longer bound to...


AD: But he says spiritual awakened so anyone that's under the tutelage or guidance of a sage is spiritually awakened and it's very possible that the chart will not work for him.  There may be changes.


VM: Anthony, couldn't you understand this as saying that it refers to the natal horoscope and if a person does have a genuine, let's say, descent of grace through some help from a true sage, that he can be set relatively free of the compulsion of the psychosomatic organism and be in harmony with the world image at that moment.  Not necessarily permanently.


AD: Well, it could even be permanent.


VM: Alright, permanent too.  I was trying to understand it, like it's easy, relatively easy anyway to see that the sage would not be bound, at least mentally by his natal horoscope although his body might have to go through certain karma.  But isn't it also possible for a less than the sage to be at times free of the natal horoscope?


AD: There are times when someone less than the sage--the spiritually awakened--is not necessarily a sage.


VM: Alright.


AD: Would you read that quote again, please.


EC: Should I read it all.


AD: Yes, sure.


EC: (Rereads quote:)


PB: ``The horoscope indicates the future only for ordinary people and can never become a fixed certainty for the spiritually awakened.  For wherever an individual has come under Divine Grace, he directly or indirectly through a teacher can be rendered independent of his past karma...'' (repeat)


AD: Isn't he saying right there, that as a student you can be rendered independent of your chart if you're under the guidance of a sage?  Isn't he saying that right there?


CdA: No, he didn't say that.


AD: He didn't say that?  Would you read that again?


CdA: Wait, wait...


AD: You don't have to read it for heaven sakes.  You had the example.  Read it.


(EC reads:)


PB: ``. . .For wherever an individual has come under Divine Grace, he directly or indirectly through a teacher can be rendered independent of his past karma at any moment that the divine wills it to be so. . . .''


EC: So PB's saying that grace could descend at any moment if you're spiritually awakened.


AD: Yes, from the sage.


EC: But I've also heard here, Anthony, it's said a true astrologer could find that in a chart.


AD: Who's that?  Tim!  (laughter)  I don't know about those things.  I don't know about those things but I do know that if you're under the guidance of a sage he can release you from a certain destiny which is indicated in your chart.


S: Where does the release in the chart come from.  From the teacher or the divine will?


EC: What do you think?


S: There seem to be indications of both in there.  It sounds as though it would be the divine that would have to do it but what's the role of the teacher.


AS: A funnel.


EC: Yes, the Divine Will funneling through the teacher.


RG: If you couldn't get it in that way maybe you could get it through a teacher.


AD: I don't want to comment on that one.  Let's go to another one.  Jonathan?


JB: Would you speak about the last sentence?  That the will is free because the Divine Will is free, is that two things?


EC: ``The will is free because Man is Divine and the Divine Self is free.''  The spiritually awakened has a divine self, it is the divine self. . . .  A sage is a divine self.  Can I say that?  And so it says ``is free.''  It has a freedom that we don't know about.


JB: What's the meaning of will there?


EC: Oh, I see.  The will is free.


RG: I think he means the will of the Overself.


EC: The will of the Overself coming as grace, so it's free to come and go when it wants to.  `When it wants to,' that's not a proper way to speak of it.


JB: That's what I mean.  I don't have a proper way to speak of it or think of it.  What's the contribution, what's the sense of free will that's spoken of.  Not the commonplace one by any means.


RG: Isn't it the one we were talking about in the other quote?  Insofar that the Overself is pure stillness and if the consciousness between any two thought moments, then that consciousness is free from the modifications of all the thoughts that appear in it.  And if it bestowed its grace, could pull somebody out of that process.


AD: I don't know about that Richard but I was reading this quote here.  This might give you an idea of the magnitude of the spiritual grandeur of what a sage is.  I don't think we can properly grasp it.  On page 16 (Perspectives).  The very first one on the top.  He says:


PB: ``Do not pretend to be other than you are.  If you are one of the multitude, do not put upon yourself the proud robes of the Teacher and pretend to be able to imitate him; unless you stick to the Truth, you can never find it.  To put yourself upon the pedestal of spiritual prestige before the Master or God has first put you there, . . .''


AD: I mean this just boggled my mind.


PB: ``. . . before the Master or God has put you there,''


AD: You see the powers that he's given to a Master?


PB: ``. . . is to make the first move towards a humiliating and painful fall.'' Perspectives p. 16 and 25.5.33


AD: But that equation where he puts them on the same level, that the Master could assign you to a certain work or God could assign you to a certain work.  I'm sure he could release you from certain compulsions that you feel that your destiny allotted to you.  The Master could say, well, we'll let you get away with it this time.  You won't have to go through that.  And you can be released from it.


LR: Anthony, would you go so far as to say that those ideas that are in the chart could actually be nonapplicable after that.  Not perhaps the energy of the aspects.


AD: Yes.


LR: So you've seen charts where of those men--


AD: Where certain ideas aren't working anymore.  Certain tendencies are no longer accepted by that person.  I've seen that.  I've seen that quite often.  But I think that was either the grace of his Higher Self or the grace of a Master.  There must have been someone there, very very powerful.     


You remember the other thing when there was a quotation where PB speaks about what the Master does to a student--the way he tries to--it makes my hair stand up.  So it's quite a serious thing when you speak about a Master.  They're not readily available.  You remember like I tried to point out, they're not like Alan Watts said, you find them out on the West Coast!  All gathered in a certain area.


EC: Jonathan, do you want to ask Anthony something?


JB: It just seemed that THE Master here, seemed a particularly powerful reference as opposed to A sage or A teacher, THE Master gives me the feeling more of a Christ or an Avatar and I wonder if you mean that.


AD: To a person who has realized the I-Am, the Overself and philosophically has brought that realization into the world and understands the nature of the world.  That is that basically it is a manifestation of Consciousness or Reality, that is a MASTER.  I don't know if you've got any idea what work is involved to reach those heights but in studying these things I began to realize we're speaking about the quintessence of Divinity as far as humanity is concerned.  You know, we read about Ramana Maharishi where he's ten or twelve, whatever age he is and he says I'm going to lay down and find out what this business about dying is.  And he lays down on the floor and he stops breathing.  You try it.  See if you can do it and you find out the strength of the vasanas is unbelievable.  They'll say we're going to scream for help and beg and cry for mercy.  Everybody speaks like that, about how superior they are to death--when they're not dying.  But when they're dying it's a whole different ball game.  The vasanas take over, the tendencies are powerful enough to take over completely.  Now I can't conceive of any power except the power of a sage or God to release you from that, that compulsive fear.  So the word Master has got alot of meaning, tremendous depth and profundity to it and I don't think that we have any idea what's really involved.  I don't think we have any idea.  You're speaking about someone who is in touch with the Lord of the Universe, our world. Let's try another.  Pretty good, come on--


AS: I got a short one.


AD: Avery, please.


AS: Only as a last resort. . .


VM: I've got a last resort.  It builds, I think, on the one you were working on.  This is on page 14 (Perspectives), the bottom quote.


PB: ``There are two paths laid out for the attainment, according to the teaching of Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.  The first path is union with the Higher Self---not, as some believe, with the Logos.  But because the Higher Self is a ray from the Logos, it is as near as a human being can get to it anyway.  The second path has its ultimate goal in the Absolute, or as I have named it in my last book, the Great Void.  But neither path contradicts the other, for the way to the second path lies through the first one.  Therefore, there is no cleavage in the practices.  Both goals are equally desirable because both bring man into touch with Reality.  It would be quite proper for anyone to stop with the first one if he wishes; but for those who appreciate the philosophic point of view, the second goal, because it includes the first, is more desirable.'' Perspectives p. 14 and 1.5.115


VM: This seems related to both Avery's quote and alot of the difficulties or issues that we're trying to deal with on Friday nights or other nights.


RG: That clears it right up?


VM: (Anthony, I think I understand the first path but the second seems more difficult.)  On the other hand there are a lot of mysteries in it, too.  I think we can skip the reference to Krishna and the Bhagavad Gita, that seems relatively clear.  I'll start with the second sentence.  ``The first path is union with the Higher Self---not, as some believe, with the Logos.''  I understood that to mean the first union with the I-Am.   And some confuse that with the World Mind or the Soul of the Cosmos or in astrological terms, with the Soul of the Sun.  But that's incorrect even though it's a ray from that sun.  That's the way I'm trying to understand that first one.  ``The first path is union with the Higher Self---not, as some believe, with the Logos. But because the Higher Self is a ray from the Logos, it is near as a human being can get to it anyway.''  One shouldn't confuse the I-Am principle or the Overself with the World Mind but nonetheless it is as close as we can get to it.  ``The second path has its ultimate goal in the Absolute, or as I have named it in my last book, the Great Void.''  This is a little tougher for me because the Absolute with a capital A, Great Void and so on.  I'm not really certain of but I would like to say that it's the Absolute Mind or the Great Void Mind, not the One or Intellectual Principle but absolute as far as an individual is concerned.  Again, the I-Am, but more perhaps in its functional mode.


AD: Would you restate that, I didn't follow you, Vic.


PB: ``The second path has its ultimate goal in the Absolute, or as I have named it in my last book, the Great Void.''


AD: In the Wisdom, what would the Great Void refer to?


VM: I was thinking Mind-in-itself but--


AD: Go ahead.  Go ahead.


VM: He doesn't discuss, I guess I'm building on what we've done in the last week or so.  But it seems to me that the first path is sort of a mystic realization, the second path is where you bring that mystic realization back in to the world and understand the world as an unfolding--


AD: Isn't the world, wouldn't the world be a projection of the World Mind?


VM: Yes.


AD: And if you penetrate into the World Idea and you get to the World Mind aren't you going to get to the Great Void?


VM: This is the problem I don't understand, Anthony.  We sometimes say you never realize anything but your own highest self and how that highest self, that Overself is fed the ideas from the World Mind, and you see the whole manifestation including the ego and all its vehicles as an unfoldment.


AD: Let me put it this way, are you saying therefore that the World Mind, the Great Void, cannot, let's say, visit you?


VM: I would be delighted by a visit, but--


AD: It would be a great visitation, right?


VM: Indeed it would.


RG: Maybe he's saying that in the first case when you do the mystic path, as you said, and realize the stillness of the I-Am but in the second case you don't only realize that the world and the universe is an unfoldment of the World Idea, as unfolding through the Overself or whatever, but you have the possibility of going to those other levels of Void meditation that the Overself is capable of reaching by deep penetration into the World to get the experience of the Being of the World, which is the Nous or the World Mind.


AD: And that's why in that exercise, the Serpent's Path, it's so difficult.  He says you must have an attention that is alert, dynamic, there's no sensible qualities to it or anything.  What is he saying?  He's saying you have to be in a state of Nirvikalpa.  Your mind is clear.  Now your mind is clear you can see when the ideas are coming towards you, you can see that these ideas are coming from the World Mind and if you penetrate in between two thoughts that the World Mind is projecting, you get into the Mind itself, you get into the Great Void.  That's why that Serpent's Path is such an important exercise.


VM: Anthony, let me just press a little farther.  When you say you get into the Great Void, this is to be distinguished from just the Overself.  When I say just the Overself I don't . . .


AD: They call it Great because it's not the principle of the I-Am, it's the principle of the Void.  It's the World Mind.  But now you cannot, you cannot make the distinction too thorough because the Overself is part of the World Mind.  And so what happens is you realize on the one hand your I-Am Principle is a particle of the World Mind and on the other hand you can penetrate into the background of the World Idea, which is the World Mind and reach the Void Mind there.  --Non-Dualism.


VM: So this is the thing you would like us to understand to relate it to, let's say, the Hindu-Buddhist notion.


AD: Yes.  And not only that, you have to understand, in the sense that I was trying to point out, that the Buddhists are going to come and explain everything from the point of view of the World Mind or the Cosmological argument.  And the Hindus are going to come from the point of view of there is this unobjectifiable consciousness which is always self-identical with itself, blah, blah, blah.  And they keep arguing and PB pointed out: he says, until these two come together, it's too bad.  They're messing everything up.  But they have to be brought together--these two schools.


AH: Anthony, the last part of this quote, he said that if both these attainments are equal in some way, because they both contact Reality.


AD: No.  They're quite extraordinary.


AH: But then he says for the person who's philosophically inclined--


AD: You don't want to go through the end.  He wants to go to the end.


AH: He's not setting up a hierarchy, ultimately, between these two.


AD: Look--For us to speak about a hierarchy, between a person who has achieved Nirvikalpa, and the person who's gone into the Void Mind itself, is kind of meaningless.  Because they're both the stratosphere as far as we're concerned.  Nirvikalpa and the person who achieves Sahaja, it's both quite an achievement.  I would be inclined to say, yes, the Sahaja is greater than Nirvikalpa because it's more philosophic.


AH: He doesn't say that in the quote.


AS: He does!


AD: Like Krishnamurti.  I'd say he achieved half but not the other half.


AH: He says they're equal.


AD: I don't think he says that.


VM: No, wait!  Let me read.  I stumbled on this too because it first sounds like he says they're equal but then he says one's greater than the other.  But if you read it carefully he says, ``The one is greater than the other from the philosophic point of view,''  Let me just read.  ``Therefore there is no cleavage in the practices.  Both goals are equally desirable because both bring man into touch with Reality.'' -- (with a capital R.)


AD: Both poles bring you to Reality.  The point is if you come to the Overself, or you go to the World Mind, the Voidness of the World Mind, you're speaking about Reality and if your soul is a particle of the World Mind, you're not going to be able to distinguish which is the reality.  They're both Reality.  That's what they mean by Non-Dualism.  You've got to see the point here.  This is what Non-Dualism means.  If you approach from the point of view of Nirvikalpa, and then you come down to the World Idea and you penetrate in to the World Idea, again you come up with of the Void Mind.  You got Non-Dualism.


VM: Let me just finish the quote.


AD: Yes, please.


Vic reads: ``It would be quite proper for anyone to stop with the first one if he wishes but for those who appreciate the philosophic point of view, the second goal, because it includes the first, is more desirable.''  It seems clear that if you appreciate, and I think he means this in a strong sense, appreciate the philosophic point of view then you would have to favor the latter point of view since its more inclusive and it does not stop with `merely'--the word merely is completely out of line here but stop at a realization of the Overself but the background, as you put it, of the Overself, the World Mind.


AS: It says, ``Both bring man into touch with Reality'' but it doesn't say...


(end of this version tape 2, side 1)


(Janet Fortess' transcript continues:)


AS: It requires both of these experiences together.  The normal notion of Sahaja is that it carries the Nirvikalpa state even into the world.  But there seems to be an implication, in order to really do that, it's not just that he can bring Pure Awareness into this appearance we experience, but he has to bring that awareness into the mind that produces itself.


AD: That's the mystery of prajna and turiya.