Bob Hardy

 

‘The better is the enemy of the good’
(14th Century Italian proverb)

 

“Look! (He throws his hands up in exasperation) Look!… I’m not saying that you’re going to have a problem… necessarily … just because it appears to me that you will keep insisting upon stapling yourself to every trendy, fashionable … ‘ spiritual fad’ … that happens to come your way …

Particularly as I will be the first to admit that one or two of these ideas may actually turn out to be of some real ‘temporal use-value’ for you … If only to show you that you’re still going in the wrong direction here! (He pauses again, looking down at his palms, before gesturing).

But if one of these ideas somehow manages to become permanent.. (He Pauses) … Such that you now believe you’ve finally ‘discovered’ a ‘rock’ of your very own that you can safely stand upon, as it were … A rock that constitutes some form or other of ‘imperishable’, or (He stops gesturing, but his head is still bend downwards slightly) – let’s use one or two of those other words that you seem to be really impressed with – such as  ‘eternal’, ‘immortal’, absolute’ (He is smiling now)…. And that now constitutes … then … some form or other of  ‘foundation’ for you? …

Well …  you can’t really blame someone else; or start complaining that you were ‘mislead’, when this edifice of yours suddenly begins to disintegrate … to disappear …(He looks up quickly and suddenly stops smiling)… Can you now? “

Fragment from ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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“No! … I’m in charge!!”

The acceptance of some form of ‘authority’; ‘authoritative figure’; or ‘ideology’; or the imposition of some form of ‘authority’; ‘authoritative figure’; or ‘ideology’…. What’s all that about?

Well … ‘Authority’ can be ‘Imposed’ on you; or you can be ‘Seduced’ by it; or you can ‘Surrender’ to it; or you can ‘Sacrifice’ yourself to it; or you can ‘Decide’ to subject yourself to it, etc. etc.

Contemplating the endless variety of ways in which ‘Authority’ functions – in both my subjective experience of ‘my’ ideas, concepts, emotional states, etc; together with the way any external authority ‘out there’ seeks to determine how I interact with the objective world, has provided me with a great deal of information about any number of (for me at least) crucial questions. Notably “What do I mean by my choice; or when I say that I just exercised my ‘free will’?”

This post consists, in the main, of my take on both the personification, and also the experiential nature of, ‘Authority’… … Also included here is material that I believe to be connected with this concept of ‘Authority’ – such as the subject of ‘inertia’ … plus various other personally relevant snippets. And although perhaps, initially, the connections that I make here might not seem that obvious or particularly useful .. I would say that these sections are by far the most interesting here … 🙂

NOTE: Re my frequent use of single parenthesis (‘…’) or of upper-case lettering for the first letter of a word (which is more often than not a noun) in this blog. This is a device I often use when representing an ‘active word’ of mine… It more often than not indicates that the particular word in question is a non-substantive… That is, what it signifies is functionally real, but is not necessarily a ‘thing’ per se… It is by no means an exact way of doing so, but I have found that it works well enough for me…

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Examining the relationship of your-self to ‘Authority’, in any of the ways in which it presents itself to you, is one of the most straightforward ways of getting at ‘who’ it is that you really are…

What it is that has power over you, or that you have power over, is indicated by – in the main – all the members of that set of those ‘others’ that you might be in relation with. And, incidentally, I believe that you can also come to truly know yourself – or at least learn a great deal about yourself – by examining the set of all those things that you despise. (However this is another subject .. although, funnily enough, not entirely).

It is the place then where, for me, that ‘mirror of being’ can be found … Where I can see the essence of what, and who, it is that I am here – at least for most of the time. And where the root of those questions that begin with the word, “Why ……?”can be illuminated. Particularly where it concerns both my relationships with other beings, and the material world; and (more importantly) “Who, or what, is calling the shots here?”

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Ever wonder why some people (many of them ‘famous celebrities’) remain in one form of psychotherapy or another (particularly the New Age, or amateur, variety) for years? … Here’s one reason, and in my opinion its a really good one. It concerns the view that some people have about what they fancy is, their ‘inner child’

Dependency in psychotherapy is generally understood as a father or mother transference and is viewed as a regression. Unfortunately the child/parent regression fantasy in psychotherapy can be damaging.

More often than not a client’s dependency reflects not the child but the invalid. Sometimes clients remain dependent upon their therapists for years – the child seems never to grow up. How can it? For we are not dealing with a child, but with an invalid – and his or her corresponding need to be dependent! …

One fails to realize that the absence of growth and healing points to the invalid, not to the child.

The child, we note … grows, and requires help only for a time.

From ‘The Emptied Soul’: On the Nature of the Psychopath (page 16)
by Guggenbruhl-Craig
Spring Publications 1980
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An authentic life is one in which you don’t flee from your destiny, but one in which you shape it, as far as you can.
 Rick Roderick, The Self Under Siege.
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(He continues on, his voice beginning to rise. Although by now he is clearly in a far more agitated state.) And by the way!!.. That ‘Commandment’ you were given … ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ … It doesn’t mean anything like .. say .. for instance …You’re dying of thirst, but you shouldn’t take water from that well there, because some asshole just told you that it belongs to him or her … (He is almost shouting now) Because that would obviously just be ***** ridiculous! … Wouldn’t it! (He pauses, and begins pacing from stage left to right before coming to rest, front center-stage – where he looks up into the lights for a second or two, before continuing on in a relatively normal voice)

No! … What that Commandment really means is actually … very .. simple. (He suddenly stands perfectly still and lowers his head, so that he is now looking directly at the audience, before continuing on in a somewhat animated and assertive manner) It just means … ‘You are not to appropriate the ‘Work’ of others … in order to then pass it off as belonging to … your … Self’!… (He looks down and continues on quietly – talking to himself) … Which could also actually have a great deal to do with your understanding of, or your breaking of, that First Commandment as well… Now that I come to think of it. (He smiles as he pauses, and then adds – almost in a whisper) And also all the rest of them …really(He relaxes visibly, looking up once more at his audience, and we hear him finally muttering through his teeth) Although it wouldn’t do to mention that to this lot though… (He chuckles – his face slowly breaking into a wide grin).

Fragment from ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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Humanity, along with all other creatures, is the work of God. But humanity is also called to be the workman of God.

Hildergard of Bingen – Vita (II, 35)

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At some point in the past I realized that, at every moment, I was being presented with the opportunity to freely chose to Work… And my continuing belief in this realization has never been a problem for me since.

But how it is that I now go about seeking some justification or other for not doing so? …Well, that is a problem for me … In fact – and in a very real sense – it’s probably my only real problem.

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Over the years, I’ve observed any number of people attempting to slavishly copy others in the ‘How to behave spiritually’ game’.

Which leads me to the conclusion that they have far more faith in who it is that they are trying to imitate, rather than in what it is they are supposed to do – that is, to engage in some form or other of praxis. But (and of crucial importance here) a praxis that they could at least attempt to originate in and from themselves.

They seem to find it extremely difficult to derive any sense of certitude from anything that has roots in themselves. Manifesting an overwhelming sense of insecurity the moment that they attempt to stand on their own two feet.

Forever trying then, to be what others ‘in the know’ tell them that they should be or what they are …

And so ending up only really ever having known themselves by hearsay.

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That ‘Christ within’ idea? …Well it certainly doesn’t mean that somehow there’s ‘someone else here in the building with me’ or there’s ‘a little voice in my head’… Someone who is somehow playing a spiritual game of ‘hide and seek’ with me, as it were….

Would that things were that easy!

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My attempts at ‘Involving the Will’ are actually attempts by me to exclude chance from my life… Or – to put it another way – it’s making use of any power that I might possess in order to exercise some control over my otherwise inevitable fate.

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That hostility you experience towards others is hardly ever grounded in your dislike, or even in your hatred of them, but is almost always rooted in your particular devotion to, or in your worship of, or (more likely) your mindless adherence to, some external authority or other – be that authority a person; an ideology; or a ‘religious’ text.

Once you have subjected yourself to any external authority whatsoever, it then becomes a relatively simply matter for that authority to incite you. Usually by the simple process of feeding you a few carefully chosen words at the opportune moment; or (and far more mysteriously) by the simple process of you, yourself, feeding the same carefully chosen words to yourself at the opportune moment!

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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The way I go about things here almost invariably involves what others might view as far more than its fair share of what could be called, an ‘energetic-confrontational-approach’…  In fact, this is a technique of mine that you may have already noticed me using if you’re a regular reader of this blog … … It is, by and large, an intuitive method.

So then (initially at least) I don’t deliberately engage in ‘thinking’, or in any ‘ritualistic physical activity’… (However, perhaps I might begin to, say, ‘pace up and down’, but this is not a ‘deliberate’ act on my part – although I suppose it could be viewed as ritualist to some degree) … I simply ‘throw myself at things’, and allow myself to react here. And then attempt to observe my emotional reactions as they unfold (rise to the surface) – without identifying with them if I possibly can… (And good luck with that 🙂 ..).

If I can manage to do this, I will immediately experience an increase in all that ‘internal energy’ that has now (hopefully) begun to whiz around inside me… And if all now goes well, this will very quickly be converted by me into some form or other of intense internal discourse. One that I can (again hopefully) subsequently externalize in the form of a text (spoken or otherwise)… If, on the other hand,  it all goes ‘tits up’, then I will usually just get angry and frustrated – and will probably end up by throwing my dinner at the wall, or doing something equally as pointless.

By the way, this process is always accompanied by this increase in adrenalin, so it can be quite … exhilarating … (particularly if all goes well). But there is always the ever present danger of me now becoming addicted to this process (via this ‘adrenalin high’) – with all the attendant problems that this habit would then involve me in, etc . etc. …

There was a ‘procedure’ that I used to engage in – from sometime around the age of twenty-five up until I was in my early sixties – when, in order to ‘wake up’ in the morning, I would drink caffeine whilst listening to the morning news on the radio. This ritual would invariably succeed in irritating the hell out of me, and so make me aggressive – but I would also now be wide awake and full of energy. The problem now though, was that of separating out this energy and ditching the aggressive component or – to put it another way – attempting to break my continued identification with this overwhelming reactive response of mine, because I quite enjoyed it. And in the beginning this identification dominated my efforts so much that I was prevented from Working far more frequently than I succeeded in doing so.

But I did eventually became reasonably successful here, because I deliberately spent some time each day reminding myself of what it was that I was actually trying to accomplish!

So in my little world at least, all energy that is ‘called up’ is ‘tainted’ one way or another, and this is one of the pitfalls that I had to look out for when I began attempting to Work… And I had to try to develop the technique of ‘un-tainting’ this energy as it were, in order to involve it in what I ‘Will to do’ (which is, hopefully, to Work with it).

The negative quality of this energy (this ‘tainting’ or ‘adulteration’) is such that it will actually oppose me, seeking to impose its own authority on the process by flowing along all those previously established (by me and my ancestors) pleasure-orientated inertic patterns of reaction … And aren’t there loads of metaphors and allegories about that in popular culture, vis-a-vis  all those ‘good intentions’ that somehow never seem to make it to the light of day!

But – on the bright side – as I grew older, as I said, I learnt to be much more controlling of this process, even if initially, in the main, it was only because I was becoming more and more aware that this ‘adrenaline rush’  I was experiencing was now beginning to present me with any number of troubling ‘side-effects’, such that I now usually had to ‘go and have a little lie-down’ afterwards because I would begin to ‘feel a bit limp’  🙂 …)

It is of course possible to be just as reactive whilst appearing to be providing a measured, considered response… A type of inertic behavior that you will very frequently meet in many politicians and ‘gurus’… Beware! This response is just as mechanical. It’s merely more seductive, as you feel you’ve been ‘personally responded to’. You haven’t. The person providing this response has simply become very good at acting out this particular part.. And these are the beings you should really be on your guard against… ‘Slime-ball’ is the generic term for them – and you will become aware of a great deal of ‘slithering and sliding’ on their part as you manage to develop further here… It’s the common image of the ‘holy man’ that most people have (probably because it fits that stupid ‘benevolent big-daddy in the sky’ image that they’re so desperate for).. Focusing on the persona of John the Baptist  will help here… (Focusing on John the Baptist with a bad hang-over is even better).

If you are interested in all this, Eugene Halliday had much of interest to say about the negative aspect of this ‘rush’ … But I’m afraid that you’ll have to find this in his material for yourself.

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In my world at least then, all states experienced as overpowering are the direct result of a bio-chemical process – so none of those nine chakras, with ‘special energy’ flowing up and down the spine for me I’m afraid. Don’t get me wrong, I think ideas like this are quite picturesque in their own way – as are any number of other exotically, culturally based, metaphors and allegories… But I find that the overwhelming majority of them are hopelessly outdated and needlessly obscure. And I believe that if you are serious about moving forward here, then they will simply confuse matters for you – although you will probably be superbly entertained in the process… And others could very easily come to view you as a bit of a guru or a witchy-poo if you spoke about all this, and they didn’t have a clue… But this particular social situation – and I know that it is one you can now easily land yourself in – is simply yet another one of the (actually rather minor, or ‘beginner’) obstacles here in all this… The fact is, that there are any number of people out there who will attempt to convince you that there is far more relevance to culturally outmoded forms of ritualistic behavior than there actually is, and their talking about it with those who are fortunate enough to be ignorant about these matters can occasionally make them sound a lot more trendy and ‘with it’ than they actually are.

Where it concerns any information here then, for most of the time I’m only ever interested in its eventual ‘use value’.

So let me just say that I prefer a bio-chemical approach, or a more rigorous scientific one, to matters like this… But, and most important of all here, I would also add that I also fully appreciate that these preferred approaches of mine are however, in the end, simply yet another culturally-based metaphor. But they are ones that I find I can Work with far more efficiently than those involving, for example, lotus leaves; beings with elephant heads and human bodies; females with thousands of hands and arms; and blue faced youths riding around on chariots … or burning bushes, and ‘angels of death’ for that matter… etc. etc.

That is not to say that the study of say Astrology, or Tarot cards, doesn’t have it’s place here. But my overwhelming impression of those who do engage in these sorts of enquiries is that it produces in them an irresistible urge to ‘play the pseudo-mystic’.  And I can’t help strongly suspecting that this was the whole idea in the first place – to make themselves ‘more interesting’.

Regrettably this also goes for many with an interest in depth psychology (and even some with an interest in modern physics). But in these fields there are, thankfully, many who do not and who still project a profound (and for me far more agreeable) sense of wonder at it all.

And I should also add here that parables are another matter entirely for me – always providing, of course that I’m comfortable with their particular mise-en-scene.

So, in my case then, I always try bear in mind that, ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power’… a contemporary (but now slightly out-of-date) metaphor created by Eugene Halliday – along with his particular perspective on accompanying contemporary terms such as, for example, ‘energy’; ‘field’; ‘force’; ‘consciousness’, etc. etc. Because I find that they are far easier for me to deal with … and so far more efficient, and so far more profitable for me in the end  …  🙂 … But just as magical..

Anyway, this is what I do in order to – as quickly as possible – get to the ‘location’ of that ‘limit of the application’ (that ‘frontier’ or ‘border’) of any term that I am attempting to incorporate into my active language  …A technique of mine then, that metaphorically I could say I experience as me being a bit ‘short sighted’ and – as a consequence – requiring me to get up as close as I can to any ‘matter of concern’, as quickly as possible…

So this doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with ‘making my point’ or ‘proving I’m right’ or anything like that, because I have absolutely no problem at all in ‘giving ground’ either – if I believe that in doing so I will move on. Because that’s the the whole point of this exercise anyway, the only reason i’m involved in this way in all this. And it is something that, thankfully, I manage to almost never to lose sight of for most of the time.

And so this is all very much part of my ‘system’ then; of what it is that I am actually attempting to do… But – to repeat – I certainly wouldn’t necessarily recommend this approach to anyone else.

All of which (as I mentioned above) will, I hope, explain why much of what I have posted below about ‘authority’, might (on first glance at least) appear to some to be far too acrimonious…

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“This … You … that you were actually born as? … At what point in the game did you decide that it wasn’t really the ‘you’ that you wanted to be.. But rather … it dawned on you that in fact, with a little bit of effort you could just pretend to be whoever you wanted to be …

And so you decided to present yourself to the world as ‘someone else’ then… As someone … particularly … that you  ‘liked better’? … that you felt was ‘more deserving’..?

So then, instead of working for the development of your own potential, you decided that … as you were going to be  this ‘someone else’ – you were going to ‘work for the development of their potential’ instead (He pauses)

Look, it’s really not for me to say here… I mean, our motto is, after all, ‘Never try to educate a mug’ … But – and I know what I’m going to say now won’t really do any good … and that I’m probably wasting my breath here as usual … Can you not see that any decision of yours you decide to make here might have something really essential to do with all that ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’ business, and also with  ‘Don’t be going round worshiping idols’  (He pauses again) .. And further, that all that ‘Sins of the father’ business might not in fact be a condemnation of your present state –  experienced by you as a rather unfair or unjust burden –  but rather, might be far more like a helpful… a useful … piece of advice? (He smiles) One that might provide you with a  ‘little clue’ as to who it is – in part at least – that you really are …  if you Will …

Or do you think that these particular rules … these ‘Commandments’ … that you claim you received, were just ‘suggestions’ … Or that, in the case of these particular two, they simply mean something like, “You should always try to be nice to your mum and dad'” and that, “You shouldn’t have a statue of Baal parked on top of the fireplace in your living-room.” …

(He pauses again, before adding assertively) But don’t let me put words in your mouth! …(He pauses again) Tell me… Please… What do you think these particular …. ‘Commandments’ (He grins broadly) might mean? … 

(His grin quickly fades as he pauses, and looks up again directly.  Then, once again, he grins broadly, before speaking) … I’ll just leave that with you for the moment… If I may.”

Fragment from ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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It is common for very infantile people to have a mystical, religious feeling. They enjoy this atmosphere, in which they can admire their beautiful feelings. But they are simply indulging their auto-eroticism. ~ C G Jung, ETH Lecture 11 Jan 1935, Pages 171.

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One positive consequence of my belief that Work is only taking place when I allow my essential authentic nature the ‘freedom to be’, is that it has allowed me to see very clearly that there must – and very obviously so – be any number of other ways of going about all this, if only because all beings have their own unique ‘essential authentic natures’ and might come from entirely different cultural backgrounds . … Which might mean that I could eventually come to view some of them as ‘traveling in the opposite direction to me’ so to speak, in order for them to engage in their own particular Working…

And, from time to time I can really appreciate that this is in fact how they are experiencing their ‘being here’, a realization on my part that is, incidentally, really good when it does happen.

And so for me if Working is, in the end, for the most part all about ‘who is doing what’ here, then this account of mine (such as it is) should be seen by you as merely an attempt on my part to document – as well as I am able – how it is that I do it; how I go about all this ….  …

And although I think that Eugene Halliday wasn’t particularly clear about this aspect of Working, he was the first person that I came across who was demonstrating that working could be done – and through my attempts to understand his talks and essays, that ideally Working was the only thing that should be done … That Working is what we are all really here to do … But that you can only freely will to engage in it … And also that you must arrive at that point in your life (that ‘gate’ as I metaphorically experienced it) where you can clearly see that you have been presented with the choice to do so.. And that – at this crucial point – this is a decision that only you ‘alone’ can make … … or not..

So then, ‘suggested methods’ from others are, as I see it, very often pretty much useless here in the end, if what you do is simply decide to take their suggestions on board ‘lock, stock, and barrel’. Because a crucial part of all this is that you have to arrive at the start of your own ‘journey’ (at that ‘gate’ of mine, in my case) by yourself, and under your own steam.  And even though you might ‘hear this call’ reflected off others in some form or other, it is only you who can then decide to provide some level of appropriate response to it…

Even if (like any good Buddhist) you soon after come to realize that this particular beginning of yours (that ‘gate’ of mine) wasn’t really there in the first place! 🙂

Here’s one of my favorite gates…

The Gate
Photo by Bob Hardy

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But if you do happen to come to some account or other of this ‘illusory nature of things’ ‘in the literature’ and not come to see see it for yourself?…. Well, sadly perhaps, it’s not some idea that you can simply ‘lift’ from one or other translation of some Buddhist text that you’ve been skimming over; or that you’ve heard about from some species or other of ‘enlightened Western guru’, or gleaned from some talk or other that you attended for an hour or so when you had nothing better to do, and that you now fancy you ‘understand’. …And it isn’t like some kind of fancy conjuring trick that you can ‘just figure out’ either… It has to be ‘realized’ by you (it has to be real – ized’ might be better)… That is, you have to have fallen for it first, and then know that you have … And that even though you have realized it, at some point (perhaps only a moment later) you have fallen for it again… So it’s an ‘illusion proper’ and not just a ‘trick’ that you have worked out and so doesn’t ever ‘work on you’ again.. To put it another way – you must have experienced the realization that the nature of the world is an illusion, but that before the cock crowed three times you were right back in it again.. And that this will keep on happening, no matter how long you beaver away at those yoga exercises… And you have to be totally OK with that..

So the idea here then, is that you have to actively search for your own ‘gate’ (or whatever); and having found it, you have to then realize that it wasn’t really there.

This is why, if I am seriously questioned about my own methods here, before I venture to provide any reply, my natural ‘energetic confrontational nature’ will initially require at least a brief account of how it is that the questioner actually goes about all of this for themselves; and not what it is that they have to say about the way in which they ‘think about’ how it is that I do so.

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But first!..

Investigating the creative output of others is – I believe – an excellent way of going about attempting to understand (or at least appreciate) one aspect of  ‘Authority’.. In this case, what it is (ideas, etc), or who it is (individuals, schools, etc.), that individual beings ‘Will’ to place themselves under in order to ‘be creative’ (another aspect here then of that ‘Governing Concept’ of Eugene Halliday’s) …

Although – if you get the general idea of my take on the ‘authentic’ and ‘genuine’ aspects of being – you’ll understand why I would also maintain that this ‘investigating’ on your part is no guarantee that any benefit here will see you subsequently ‘striking off in the right direction’ ..

Be that as it may … in my opinion, an excellent example of this creative output is the book, ‘Shakespeare King Educator’.

Authored by both Eugene Halliday and David Mahlowe – it presents an interpretation of Shakespeare’s plays from the point of view of Eugene Halliday’s ‘metaphysics’.

Here’s a pdf copy: Shakespeare King Educator – Eugene Halliday and David Mahlowe

David Mahlowe also gave a number of talks on both the ‘The Baird’, and also the theater (subjects very close to his heart). So here’s a selection of these that you might like to listen to as well:

Commentary on ‘A Winter’s Tale’ – by David Mahlowe

Theater and the Cosmic Drama – by David Mahlowe

Three Talks on Shakespeare – by David Mahlowe

The Incarnate Word – by David Mahlowe

I met up with David Mahlowe on a fairly regular weekly basis at Parklands (whenever I could make it) – between the late 1970’s and late 1983 – as a member of a group there. I also saw him somewhat infrequently after that whenever I was in the country, and I also exchanged a number of letters with him after Eugene Halliday died.

His wife, Zero Mahlowe, became both a friend and confidant of mine for a number of years during the period beginning some ten years or so after David’s death when I worked regularly with her for two (sometimes three) whole days per week at her home, on the production of audio versions of some of Eugene’s written work.

I also interviewed her extensively during this time about her life both before, and after, she met Eugene Halliday, and of course while she was married to David. I recorded much of this material, but there was also a great deal of it that she would only allow me to write down (and I have obviously never shown or discussed this material with others, as it was of a confidential nature). Zero did however allow me to pass on her approved edited recorded material that I collected from her for an ethnographic study that I was doing.

I mention all this here because a great deal of that first-hand material Zero Mahlowe so generously provided me with, served to endorse my own attempts at Working with those two terms, ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’. Terms that – even back then – I had already intuited were perhaps being far too heavily influenced by my understanding of the Jungian terms ‘persona’; ‘ego’; ‘shadow’, and ‘Self’, and so didn’t quite ‘gel’ (were proving somewhat unsatisfactory) when it came to illuminating, or accounting for, my own experience(s) of myself.

I would just also like to add here, that I have no doubt both David and Zero Mahlowe were two of the very few people I have personally ever met who I would say had actually attempted to ‘Work’ with Eugene Halliday’s material – at least in the sense that I use that term. And also that Zero had used this term ‘Working’ (and had done so for decades) in exactly the same way that I had found myself doing, which was something of a relief for me – particularly as she went on to tell me she was absolutely certain that this was the sense in which Eugene also used the term… And finally, she also told me she had no doubt at all that – among those who claimed to be his ‘followers’, or whatever –  Eugene Halliday was well aware of who was, and who was not, Working,

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Alan Roberts gave a series of talks on ‘Shakespeare King Educator’ some eight years ago that you might also find useful here. Video clips of these can be found on his YouTube site. So here’s a link to the first one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03kHF1Wd49s . The rest of these talks will show up as links, down the right-hand side of this youtube page of Alan’s.

NOTE: Alan very recently sent me a great book (‘History In English Words’ by Owen Barfield. Published by Lindisfarne Press) that has a small piece in it about how Barfield sees words ‘coming to be’ …

The example Barfield uses is the word ‘quality’ – a word that he claims ‘is used by most educated people every day of their lives’ . He goes on:

…(Y)et in order that we should have this word, Plato had to make the tremendous effort (it is one of the most exhausting which man is called on to exert) of turning a vague feeling into a clear thought. He invented the new word ‘poiotēs’, ‘what-ness’, as we might say, or ‘of-what-kind-ness’, and Cicero translated it by the Latin ‘qualitas’..

If you realize just how pivotal to me this ‘bringing-into-being’ of a word is in all of this, and can get at least some sense of just how difficult it is to do in practice, then you can understand why it is that I believe that this particular example of this process by Owen Barfield  illuminates what the essence of Working on one’s ‘active’ language is actually about.

I would put it this way. It was necessary here for Plato to ‘bring to be’, or to create, this particular component of his ‘active language’ by creating this new word. Out of what Barfield describes as, ‘a vague feeling’ – but which I would claim was actually far more like a ‘definite state of being’; a state which, at least up until that moment in the history of the West, had not been ‘trapped in language’.

This is a process that has nothing whatsoever to do with the production of ‘verbal labels’. Those attempts by various groups, such as the media, or the entertainment, or the automobile industries; or New-Age gurus etc. – to coin new words, or to simply debase existing ones (try ‘awesome’, or – for a really puke-provoking example, how about ‘conscious uncoupling’… A clue as to what’s going on here? … The use of that word ‘coin’, in the phrase ‘coin a new word’) …

All of which means that turning a passive component of your already existing language into an activate one should be a far less demanding effort for you, than creating an active word from scratch. If only because others will have done the Work for you… But of course you still have  learn to know how, and where, to look  🙂 …

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It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives.—Francis Bacon

‘Confirmation Bias’ refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs.”—Robert Todd Carroll, The Skeptic’s Dictionary.

I have lost count of the number of those I have met who imagine that they are ‘onto something’ or are ‘understanding it all’, or are even claiming to be ‘getting messages from beyond’, but who seem to be completely unaware that, until they develop an ‘active language’ (in the sense that I believe the example immediately above by Owen Barfield clearly provides) such that they can articulate clearly to other interested parties what it is that they claim they are experiencing – then their claims to be really ‘informed’ are of no more value here than those accusations they often go on to make about those people who don’t understand what they are saying; or claim that they are ‘being blocked somehow’ from seeing all these ‘obvious facts’ of theirs’:  or believe that they are ‘being deliberately ignored’ …

And I believe the reason why they behave like this is blatantly obvious: they conflate the degree of discomfort that they have experienced, and the magnitude of this past experience (and may still to some extent be experiencing) with the clarity of what it is that they imagine they (as a consequence of this experience) have now come to ‘know’..

So even though they are unable to express themselves clearly – not having developed the necessary ‘active components’ of their language here (to describe as accurately and succinctly as possible what it is that they have actually experienced) – they will still insist (for whatever excuse they imagine they have) that they ‘know’ something… Confusing this ‘knowing’ then with ‘experiencing’… As in their answer to the question, “What the hell happened to you then?” which always seems to be some variety or other of, “I don’t know, but it was great (or scary; or spiritual, etc) ..!”

Knowing that something happened is not the same thing at all as knowing about what happened, or why it happened – and it is certainly not the same thing as being able to express this experience clearly to others.

To get anywhere here, there are three states that you must go through, and then reflect upon:

1). The state you were in when you had this experience(s).
2). The state you were in later, that was very largely a consequence of your negativity. Due in large measure to the frustration at your inability to clearly conceptualize this experience, such that it could be clearly understood – either to yourself, or to others.
3). The state you were in when you finally managed to do so.

And here’s the really interesting thing about all this for me (because I probably won’t really care all that much about your ‘experiences’). How do you know when you’ve experienced ‘State 3)’ here? …Well, that will be when you discover that you have now significantly modified your remembered experience of ‘State 1)’ …! In other words, when you come to realize (by reflecting upon these three contingent states of yours) that you have succeeded in actually changing your past, by the simple (but by no means easy) process of articulating your previous experiences here satisfactorily to yourself  … …

Real magic then! 🙂

And … before I forget. What you should really do now – having experienced this ‘State 3’ – is immediately Work on understanding a little more about what it is that you now mean by that word ‘time’  … 🙂 …  Tie this word up then, so that it also now becomes a far more active component of your vocabulary. And if you still find that ‘time’ means the same thing to you that it always did, then I would claim that you haven’t in fact really experienced ‘State 3’ at all… You only imagine that you have..

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So anyway… ‘Authority’ then …. What are the questions here? … ….Well – and among many others – these would be: What is ‘authority’?; From whence does it emanate (what – as it were – is its archetypal nature)?; How, and by whom, is it assumed?; How is it experienced by those who ‘come under’ it?; How is it symbolically represented? .. etc. etc…

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By the way, Eugene Halliday had a great deal to say about the concept of – what he referred to as – ‘control’ – or (as he rather neatly puts it) ‘rotation about a common center’.

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ROUGH DRAFTS (No stage or scenic directions yet. Unedited speech only) 

“…In order for you to do what it is that you do (or have done), what is it that other beings in the world have to do (or have done)? … Because these particular relationships of yours – the ones that I’m betting you very rarely (if ever) think about (or even want to think about) – are among those that make up most of your real connection(s) to the world.. 

All those possessions of yours (some of which you might even claim you have had to ‘save up’ for; ‘sacrificed’ for; or ‘gone without’ for)  … …. What was it that was demanded of others (those that produced these ‘things’) in order for these possessions of yours to ‘come to be’…. That is, so that they could even exist – for there to even be the possibility then that you might, at some future time, own them … In order to enjoy them? …

Who was it paid that price for you?

If you don’t really want to look at things like this too closely … or for too long … (“What can I do about it? … This is just the way that it is.”) … Then I would say that you have very little possibility of understanding who it is – in the main – that you really are; or how far it is that you still have to go; and how little it is – in the end – that you have actually done, or are ever going to do here …

Try subtracting all these things from your life, … All your possessions; all your ‘qualifications’; all your family ties, and then tell me what’s left.. … Do you believe that there would still be a you… then?

And who might that ‘you’ be? … Can you tell me anything about this you? (He smiles) … The important stuff only will do (He pauses)

If you’re having trouble here providing an answer to this question … Try imagining these scenarios..

If you’d suffered some form of immense personal disaster… If you had to flee your home … lost all your possessions … all your relatives were killed (and you certainly know that this is actually happening to many people down here as we speak) who is it that would .. remain? …

Or.. further…. if, when you die, you actually do believe that ‘you can’t take any of this with you’.” … What at that point thenare you? … That moment after you take that ‘last breath’ of yours? …(He pauses for a slightly longer period, and begins to look quizzical)  

Do you believe that you might then be .. ‘free at last’ … of all this? …

And if you do …. That involvement with others that you indulged in…(He pauses again) How do you see the price that they had to pay in order for this ‘you’  to come to be? … This ‘you’, that ‘came to be’ as a direct consequence – in part at least – of ‘your’ relationships with ‘them’… Relationships that wove together that life of yours … that you then claim you felt somehow trapped in … But that – if you bother to think about – you had to have experienced… if only to have then experienced becoming free of it when your life ..was over ….

Or do you believe that essentially you are no-one, a sort of ‘unattached pureness’?… Some sort of ‘essence’ then? (He pauses before exclaiming) .. …In which case … In that final analysis … What the hell was the point of  your time down here then; what was all that really about ?.. Then?”

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“Where exactly does your breakfast come from?… Under what conditions are those who produce the roughage contained in that vegan diet of yours laboring? …

Those electronic devices that you like to play with… How do you feel about the child labor that was pressed into service in order for them to be manufactured?

Who … and just how many … had to suffer anonymously  in order for you to enjoy those material objects that you claim you ‘own’…. And that you – in your attempts to self-justify’ your ownership here –  claim that you, “Worked for,” or even, “Went without for.”  …

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“In the light of your efforts here then, Would you maintain that.. to you … all this is simply a manifestation of … ‘cosmic justice at work’?  For you?… And so that, in the end then this is all ‘quite fair’? ….  

That power… that ‘Authority’ … which the view you subsequently come to have of yourself here has placed  over ‘you’ – this ‘you’ that you have constructed … How would you begin to explain this power to yourself? … How did it come to determine you?  … What sorts of things would you have to do here in order to free yourself from it?(He is clearly beginning to have more and more difficulty proceeding here) …Because, if you were ever called to account for your being here… just exactly what sorts of … things … do you believe you … would be held accountable for?  …(He is now massaging his brow with his fingers almost continually – clearly searching for inspiration).

What would that mirror placed in front of you actually show you about your time here? How could it represent any ‘Authority’ here … at this judgement? … Do you see yourself being dragged reluctantly in front of some sort of Judge? …. Some agency or other, forcing you to consider all those things that have gone on in your life; of showing you with undeniable clarity just how much you ‘went along with it all’?

Whatever it is that can do that to you; that can do that for you… surely this would be this ‘authority’ you’re so fond of going on about!…(He has stopped pacing before turning to the audience. His voice returning to normal).

Or could it be far worse… Could it all ‘drop away’ and you ‘just see’ with blinding clarity exactly how you created all of this … By yourself… With yourself… For yourself.. 

But then of course, if you ponder on all this for too long, you’ll be able to claim that you’re simply another victim down here… Because …Look! … Doesn’t thinking about all this make you suffer already? .. Fill you with your very own existential angst … with your very own ’bouts of depression’?… …”

Fragments (Working On) from ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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To learn who rules over you, simply find out who it is that you are not allowed to criticize.
Voltare

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(B)eing both intelligent and working class was usually a recipe for trouble.

In the lower orders – lacking academic aspirations – genuine intelligence manifested itself as a kind of cunning…

From ‘Jerusalem’ by Alan Moore  (Page 719)
Published by Liveright – 2016

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‘BUT THE LADY SAID!’

How to manipulate that clerk who works behind the counter at your local civic office… Particularly if you’re ‘getting on’ a bit.

Wear slightly ill-fitting clothes… It makes those in charge here (who are usually only ever junior clerks) nervous… You might also try wearing a tie. But position it badly – the knot of the tie should be a half-an-inch or so to one side of the top shirt button and maybe on the front of the collar on that side – but don’t overdo it too much.

A button-up cardigan, with either, buttons missing, or buttoned-up incorrectly, will also assist you here to look not only ‘mentally fragile’, but also – and more importantly – someone who is at least still attempting to stick to the rules.

Being, in-the-main, clean shaven – but with one or two small areas of your face that you have obviously ‘missed’ – works well here; as does wearing light colored trousers with vaguely suspicious stains on them (but don’t overdo this).

Be sure to be also clutching, what appears to be an impressive sheaf of documents or correspondence – slightly crumpled is OK… Dropping one or two now and again also adds to this picture that you’re trying to create..

When called by that clerk, immediately approach the desk, sit down, and simply keep repeating what it is you are trying to get them to do, no matter what is said to you. It also helps if you start in with this request of yours immediately upon your arrival at the desk…. And it’s even better if you can manage to start talking before the clerk here has acknowledged your existence…

If you can also manage it, act as if you might possibly start shouting, or crying, at any moment . The latter is best – but is far more difficult to pull off.

If, subsequently, it seems to you that you might be cornered by questions that are probing your situation far too thoroughly for your liking, then simply switch to repeating the following Mantra at every available opportunity, “Last week when I was in here, ‘the lady said’…,”  quickly followed by –  “She told me that I could … (adding that original request of yours) …” If questioned about the identity of this ‘lady’, be as general, and as vague. as you possibly can.

Very important here though – resist the temptation to ‘ham it up’.

This technique (or variations of it) can be astonishingly effective in all sorts of quite different scenarios.

A great way of gaining the upper hand here then… Of taking charge without appearing to … Or, if you prefer it, off assuming (of becoming) the ‘real’ authority in this situation – in that it is you who is actually dictating the subject here – the direction of that ‘script’ you have authored .. Although most of those who are watching you in action here would never realize that this is what is really happening.… (Situations like this also represent one of the really, really, important interpretations of that tarot card – ‘The Emperor’ – the one that most self-proclaimed experts in this field seem to believe represents some relation or other of the King of Denmark)… …

It is simply a mistake on your part to believe that someone who ‘speaks with authority’ is necessarily superior to anyone else in any way whatsoever… (But getting the rank-and-file to react as if they are is one of the oldest con-tricks in the world).

In many situations and relationships that we find ourselves in, who it is that is actually ‘writing that script’ is not always as obvious as it might at first seem – not even to those who are mouthing the words … and certainly not to outsiders.

So it is crucial to bear in mind here – when you find yourself listening to someone who everyone else is behaving towards as if they were in a position of authority, that this does not mean – in some way – what is being said has anything to necessarily recommend it …

What is imperative here, is that you pay particular attention to yourself when presented with the trappings of this assumed authority (by, for example, being aware that the person speaking is doing so from a specially constructed stage; or is continually making use of the ‘royal we’; or is surrounded by fawning sycophants; etc. etc.) …

And be sure that you understand this attempt by you to focus on yourself in situations such as this is actually an extremely difficult thing to do – at least when you first ‘give it a go’; and certainly when you are surrounded by others who are all ‘going along with it all’ here… A situation where you can, more often than not, find yourself losing confidence in yourself … (However, if you do happen to find yourself thinking, “Surely they can’t all be crazy?,” in situations like this … try picturing a ‘Nuremberg Rally’).

Most people you will meet are merely ‘players’, who are automatically haphazardly thinking through the same old patterns (or fragments) of ideas (hence ‘half-baked’), that tend to continually rise up in them  – usually as a consequence of their inability to resist dabbling in ‘that juicy part’ that they have either selected for themselves (and so cannot now stop identifying completely with); or have been seduced into playing; or – through the passive acceptance of social conventions are now ‘stuck’ with – and have subsequently come to realize in themselves.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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So who is, and who is not, in charge down here?

‘Authority’ … What is it? Where does it come from?… (Leaving aside obvious answers here such as ‘brute force’)…

Can you ‘do it on your own?’ That is, does the existence of any ‘authority’ at all always imply that there is more than one being hanging around somewhere? ..

Does it make sense to ‘claim authority over ones-self’ (not the same thing at all as ‘claiming sovereignty over oneself’ by the way).

And who, or what exactly, is it that finally gets to decide here; who actually gets to sort the hierarchy out; or is it a sort of natural thing, an ‘implicit order’? .. And is there, in fact, an ‘Ultimate authority’?

How does anyone arrive at a position to be able to say, “I am telling YOU that this is ‘the way it is’ ?” Or (if they’re really smart) “Perhaps you will allow me to make the following suggestion? … This is ‘the way it is’.” …

Or – even odder (and far more interesting as far as I am concerned) – how do these ‘authoritative figures’ often ‘come to be’, because others were intent on placing them in this particular position of authority – whether they liked it or not 🙂 

And – strangest of all perhaps – that these ‘authority figures’ are saddled with this position of authority,  even if it is central to their ‘message’, that those who claim any understanding here (their ‘flock’, as it were), can only make this claim to have arrived at this understand by becoming the sole authorities in their own lives!

And how do other factors at play here – those that contribute to the ‘geographically localized ascension’ of this ‘authoritative figure’ for instance, actually influence the formation of any subsequent hierarchy?

How do these factors actually ‘work’? That is, is there some causal chain of events here that can be documented?

How do we grasp this ‘coming-to-be’ – the eventual formation of this ‘group’ then?

A group complete with its own pecking order…

What, as it were, would constitute a reasonable account of the dynamic evolution of the social and cultural mores that are at play here?

And how does this ‘group’ then evolve further (if ‘evolve’ is the correct word here)? ..

How exactly is it that others are ‘taken into’ the fold? … And what, at this point, is the relationship between that original ‘founder’ (that ‘authoritative figure’) and the subsequent ‘carryings-on’ of those who are making some claim or other to be engaged in this ‘carrying on’?

Does it all come about (for all practical purposes at least) by, for example, the input of cash from an interested philanthropist? Cash that provides the necessary means of implementing some form of ‘structure’ here in all this (the acquisition of ‘premises’ perhaps). A benefactor who then – willingly or unwillingly – finds themselves assuming some sort of ‘Chancellor of the Exchequer’ position here. Such that – like it or not – they find that they now have a ‘say in things’; and even, perhaps, begin to ‘take a hand’ in the running of affairs here – such that they are now, to some degree or other, in a position to be able to ‘direct the course of events’, and so influence the contents of any subsequent ‘Mission Statement’? … (Or was that the whole idea on their part in the first place 🙂 …).

And although our authoritative figure is -as it were – still the ‘head honcho’, somehow the clarity of their position is now conveniently ‘muddied’. Such that any event here that subsequently appears to the rank-and-file, to have gone slightly askew, can now always be conveniently explained by pointing out the reasonable multiplication of all those various ‘at-odds’ ambitions; misunderstood handed-down instructions; or incorrect ‘personal’ interpretations of ‘messages’; etc. etc.  

And interestingly (and in the same way) who, and how, does any actual ‘second-in’ command’ (the ‘heir apparent’) come to be selected? … And how does the ‘next level’ after that – the ‘inner-circle’ that everyone involved here is so desperate to be members of – come to be? …

Who ‘inherits’ the various mantles of power here then? … And by what process is that achieved? .. Is it, say, by making attempts to demonstrate some degree of understanding re our authoritative figure’s various utterances etc; or is it by some quasi-legal process of  claiming subsequent ownership of them?

And what does any of this have to do with the actual meaning contained in those various utterances and writings of our ‘Authoritative Figure’? What, that is, does it have to do with any ‘Message’ that might be present here? … … 

If those who have chosen to involve themselves here go on to claim to then ‘know the same things’ as our ‘Authoritative figure’. How could this claim of ‘knowing the same things’ actually be possible if it were understood that there is an essential ‘experiential dimension’ to any ‘knowing’ of this sort? – And that, in fact, absent this essential experiential dimension – all that any claimant here can do is to learn (to memorize by rote) those scattered fragments of material here that have momentarily ‘taken their fancy’…

Would it rather not just simply ‘be the case’ that any attempt to propagate these concepts would have to necessarily begin with some form of personal account of their initial acquisition, their subsequent understanding, and their consequent embodying; an embodying that would in fact – to other interested parties – be clearly, and obviously, grounded in this experiential understanding.

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How, in short, do any gathering of sycophants ever come to ‘sort themselves out’ into some form of intelligible hierarchy here? … Or are their perceived self-appointed ‘rankings’ actually something else entirely perhaps?

Could it be that they have simply fallen under some sort of mechanical deterministic ‘cosmic law’? …. And that really, in the end – because they have not actually been doing anything – because they have never exercised their Will in order to do any Work – their imagined positions are no more that illusions. Similar to those patterns we imagine that we see when we stare for too long at clouds, or into a fire? Something then that we would like to see (products of our own imagination then) but that do not really exist? 

Well actually – and in a certain very definite sense – that is exactly what I do believe happens! .. And this, indeed, is a state of affairs that goes a very long way to revealing to me just how everything down here comes to be so perfectly the way that it is …  A combination of selfishly motivated aims, together with blind mechanical determinism.

How else would you explain how we got from Jesus of Nazareth, to: The Pope; the UK monarch’s position as ‘Defender of the Faith’; the modern state of Israel; your local bishop blessing an aircraft carrier; the Vatican library; the burning of witches; the Latin Mass; the ‘Virgin Mary’ up there in heaven with God; ‘Fundamentalism’; ‘Creationism’; modern banking practices; heaven, hell, purgatory, etc. etc – all of which are central to our, so-to-say, ‘Christian Culture’ here in the West (and I say that it’s even more **** up in the Middle and Far East). A culture that has – it is claimed – come about as a direct consequence of ‘His Message’… A current state of affairs then, about which He presumably would then say something like, “Well yes! Of course! Well done! How could it all have turned out any other way?… Carry on chaps!!”

But then, if you’re one of those who have already come to the conclusion that something appears to have gone horribly wrong down here, just how is it that you are now dealing with this revelation of yours? … And what exactly is it that now determines any subsequent decisions, or courses of action, on your part? What, in short, are you actually going to do about it?…

Perhaps you have discovered that, although this is all ‘very interesting’ and probably very important – even crucial in some essential way… Actually you’re far too busy at the moment to attend to it. Or, to tell the truth, you discover that, in the end, you don’t really care? 🙂

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But if there are those who are sufficiently impressed, sufficiently convinced by ‘authority’ (of whatever kind) to ‘spread this word’ themselves, in far-off exotic places such as Australia, or Portugal – absent any clear remit from whoever it was that originally authored this stuff – what has gone on here? … Has this come about simply as a consequence of these newly self-appointed experts, that next generation of ‘the keepers of this flame’ being dazzled  by the power, and then intuiting cunningly that presenting themselves as also ‘in the know’ will illicit a smile or two from the ladies ; of being somehow overcome by the appeal of certain ideas – of becoming victims then?… And if so, what is it in these people that these ideas actually initially appeal to? … Is it their desire, their hunger, their basic need, to know? … Or is it that they are chasing after the status that their subsequent propagation of these ideas appears (to them) to eventually confer… … Which, sad to say, is how I normally only ever tend to see them …

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How does that original ‘authoritative figure’ now come to be presented to any new public, by these ‘heir apparents’? …

For example, do actual concrete events, such as profound social changes have to take place that, it is believed, have been (it is claimed) in some way predicted; or have arisen somehow as a direct consequence of these ideas. Ideas that originated with these ‘Authoritative figures’… Because, for example, it is claimed by these ‘heir apparents’ that these ideas are somehow ‘fundamental to’ (are determining in some way) what it is that is going on down here; and thus serve to demonstrate the ‘truth value’ of our Authoritative figure’s pronouncements ..

NOTE: Re any ability to ‘peer into the future’…

I would say that, up until his death in 1986, Eugene Halliday had next to nothing to say about computers and ‘artificial intelligence’ et al., primarily because he knew next to nothing about the subject – as indeed (it seemed to me) was the case with the overwhelming majority of those who attended his talks…

Eugene Halliday certainly didn’t see this ‘internet – social networking etc. thing’ coming then – at least from all the available evidence that I’ve examined… In other words, he missed the single most profound change in the world at large that was taking place right under his nose…

(Even so, I would love to know what he would have to say about the subject today 🙂 …)

He did seem to me however, to be telling others (pre 1984) that WWIII was imminent or, at the very least, did not seem to me to assuage this belief in his (what shall we call them) ‘prominent’ followers. But what a wonderful way to bind like-minded people together into a ‘community’. Let’s face it, it certainly worked in Jonestown.

Actually it is always very interesting to me to witness just how often there is a complete absence of any prediction here, where it concerns really significant major events.  One obvious world-changing event that was ‘unforeseen’ by absolutely everyone, including all those astrologers; those in the know at various Institutes for Consciousness Studies: assorted ‘magician folk’ – ‘New Age’ and old; academics; economists; political theorists; military strategists; etc – was the collapse of the old Soviet Union… And as someone who was actually in Berlin at the time (and had already been there for a few days when it happened) I can tell you that absolutely no-one was predicting the imminent ‘Fall of the Berlin Wall’ either – not even those living in its shadow, so to speak… In fact, when I actually went to the wall on the day the guards left to see for myself what was going on, and talk to a few of the people there, it was blatantly obvious that the West Berliners etc. had been taken completely by surprise.

So I don’t believe that anyone can ‘see into the future’. In fact I believe that it’s a particularly imbecilic idea, and that what various folk are doing when they speak (there’s that language thing again 🙂 …), when they claim to be able to ‘predict’ (and I will admit that sometimes a number do appear to get things ‘sort of’ right’) has nothing to do with ‘seeing anything’, but that something else entirely is going on, and has more to do with speculation based on the collection of available data, or personal past experience (“I’ve been in this situation a couple of times and in my experience this ALWAYS happened next.”) …  And that would go for every single one of these claims for me by the way – except for one… The one where I say, “At some time in the future I will certainly be dead.”

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I should, perhaps, also take the opportunity here to mention that a very fashionable idea (particularly with young folk) during the 1960’s and ’70’s  was ‘The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius’.

In case you don’t know, Aquarius is a fixed air sign, with the obvious implication then that – as we moved into it during the twenty-first century – we would all, as a consequence, be ‘taking up residence in our heads’ – the place where we store all the information that we need – so to speak. And, as a consequence, things will then get so much cooler, because we won’t be getting so over-emotional about everything and getting hot and sticky, all the time 🙂 

Eugene Halliday did have a number of interesting things to say about this subject, although his focus seems, to me, to be that ‘The Aquarian Age’ will be – for all intents and purposes – the same thing as ‘The Scientific Age’, which isn’t my position here at all (see next para) In fact, my view re this ‘Scientific Age’ is that we’ve already almost completed it, and are actually in the process of leaving it behind. I would say that we are moving into, what could be labelled, more of  a ‘hyper-real scientific-age simulacrum’  – which you probably think is a bit weird ….

If you’re interested, you can download the audio-file of Eugene Halliday’s talk ‘The Aquarian Age’ from here http://eugenehallidayarchive.info/ You can also get a transcript of that same talk at Josh Hennessy’s site, here http://www.eugene-halliday.net/ 

I don’t see ‘The Dawning of The Age of Aquarius’ then, influencing our existence in the way that Eugene Halliday describes it. Or to put that another way – although I do agree in principal with much of what he does say, I don’t give his viewpoint the same degree of prominence in the unfolding of future events.

I don’t want to go into my position here in any detail. But I will just mention (as just one example of my perspective here) I believe it is far more important to realize that, where it does concern ‘matters of the mind’, we have already moved to a situation where the overwhelming majority of folk here can no longer perceive (can no longer distinguish between) ) what we used to refer to (roughly up until the mid-1960’s’) as accounts of ‘The News’ – that is, those events that went on ‘out there in the world’, and that we were led to believe had some bearing on our daily lives – from the avalanche of ‘information’ that we are all now continually being bombarded with, and that now constitutes not only a major part of our entertainment, but also functions to pattern our social behaviour… So you are now liable to be asked by anyone, at any moment, about any incident that you have been told is taking place on that ‘Word Stage’ ‘out there’, and about which you are required to have either a ‘succinct’ (a word I am using here instead of ‘suitable car bumper-sticker’) fashionable reply for, or a radical opposition to (complete with either as much ‘wailing, rending of garments, and gnashing of teeth’, or ‘hysterical proclamations of joy’, that you can muster). You are also expected to ditch most of these ‘responses’ of yours (usually) in a matter of weeks, in order to ‘take up a sea of positive or negative arms’ for or against the next fashionable event ‘ that is about to collide with you from ‘out there’ … …

So, in my world, ‘News’ no longer exists … However, I would go on to then claim that I believe most of you out there are all so busy reacting to this barrage of ‘information’, that you have failed to notice its disappearance…. And that you will still insist on attempting to discuss what you believe to be this ‘News’. Particularly – at least as far as you’re concerned – those ‘important world events’ that you have been  suckered into believing ‘matter’ to you ..

A situation that, I will confess, I still find – to varying degrees – somewhat irritating… and in my darker moments, highly amusing … 🙂

And, in fact, I wouldn’t mind betting that the overwhelming number of ‘world events’ that you are so intent on maintaining are ‘crucially important’ to you – from the ‘death of the bumble-bee’ to the latest fashionable ‘disaster’ are no such thing at all…. In fact I would go so far as to say that if I claimed most of them were actually figments of the imagination of newspaper hacks, you would have no real way of demonstrating to my satisfaction that they were in fact definitely ‘true’, that they were ‘accurate accounts’. At very least where it might demonstrate anything in your life that you have actually experienced and that demonstrates this truth for you – other than the ‘thrill’ of entertaining yourself with these accounts … I wouldn’t go as far as to claim that we might all be living in a ‘Matrix-like’ simulation, but ‘Disneyland’ would be a far more accurate description for me – and a cheap run-down version of that would be an even better  one.

No exciting ‘Aquarian Dawning’ in my world then… simply the same old ‘same old’ …with a different hat on 🙂 …

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But to continue … …

Or is it perhaps that the various viewpoints that were originally expressed by this authoritative figure here are not so much ‘predictions’, but attempts at ‘Universal Explanations’ that appear to answer – in some way – certain troubling questions that are being asked of society in general. For example, “Why have things changed the way that they have, such that things have now become as they are?”

Because, obviously, if everyone was always OK with the way things are all the time. That is, that their reactions to life in general remained roughly the same – because they have somehow come to believe that they are living in, say, some sort of idyllic neo-conservative paradise (a kind of ‘yogic stupor’) – then as a consequence, nobody would bother paying any real attention to this ‘Authority’ figure at all (other than for their entertainment value) because there would be no real need too.

So, does our Authoritative Figure then put ‘ideas into the head of these people’ such that they come to be believe that things are actually not ‘quite right’ down here. And that, as a consequence of having these ideas planted in their heads, they now find themselves traveling down a road where they never seem to actually arrive at any satisfactory destination.

And thus – because these people experience themselves as now being almost completely ineffective here – they are continuously troubled by varying degrees by ‘guilt’, and so are now in need of ‘regular therapy’, or ‘reassurance’, from their ‘Authority Figure’?

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I really do get so fed-up with saying, “I suppose I could be wrong.” … Especially when, most of the time, I don’t happen to believe that I am… … …

Why do I do that!!!!

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This ‘authority’ that I see others placing themselves under… That realm (another great word) of dominance; sovereignty; supremacy – the place where we find the expert; the specialist; the aficionado; the guru; the sage… Where exactly is it?

 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Do those in authority simply present those who come within their sphere of influence with some version or other of a fairy tale … Some meta-narrative that their listeners find satisfying – provided that they don’t actually think about it too much?  Such as … “God made Adam and Eve. But Eve was very naughty, and so we’ve all been screwed up ever since… And because of this, what we now have to do (because it’s ‘The Law’) among lots and lots of other things – is make sure that we don’t shake hands with menstruating females; that we cut off the end of our dicks; and that we don’t eat pigs…”

I would have to admit though that this approach seems to succeed in doing the trick here far more often than it fails…

For some beings it would appear that these accounts come to be viewed as ‘obvious’; to have somehow – by some process or other – become ‘self-evidently true’. Particularly when they are dressed up in an archaic language (which I always think is a particularly stupid viewpoint – as obviously this language was not archaic at the time of it’s original use) ….

‘Precious’, ‘sacred’, ‘holy’, (and the ultimate – ‘actual word of God’) accounts then …

Regrettably perhaps, they aren’t anything of the sort for me. In fact I find almost all of them overwhelmingly obsolete in today’s Western world. That is, although I endorse the value of the ‘cargo’ (as it were) the vehicle being used to transport it is falling to pieces (another cheesy metaphor of mine there 🙂 ) … But I can easily understand why they were the best available at the time… And that also – in their continuing ‘relevance today’, I will say that they do provide a wonderful example of Eugene Halliday’s concept of ‘Inertia’ – which is a far, far, far, more complex concept of his than it at first might appear to be, but perhaps only in my opinion … 

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Now might be a good time to share my musings re whether there might actually be some form of ‘natural hierarchy ‘down here. Because, for me hierarchies form an integral part of my concept of ‘Authority’ – and so I find it useful to ‘think hierarchically’ from time to time.

So, from a hierarchical point of view, here’s how I saw Eugene Halliday used a ‘natural hierarchy’ to handle his attempts to Work with ‘others’ … Or how it was that he ‘sorted them out with regard to himself into some sort of order’ might be another way of putting this..

I believe that, in order to Work, Eugene Halliday had a system in place for filtering (sorting out) the scores of people that were attempting to avail themselves of his time, in such a way that these relationships subsequently required little or no excess or wasteful tending to on his part. And that it also made practical use of one of his favorite assertions – ‘Simple does not mean easy’… It was grounded in his insistence that all attempts to gain understanding here must arise out of one’s own actual experiences. (What it is then, that you can actually demonstrate; or have demonstrated in the past; or were required by him to demonstrate in the future; and that you can also provide some sort of cohesive, and coherent,  account of).

Thus, if you were one of those people who were desperate for a sign of recognition from him, and so spent some time putting together one of those (what you imagined were) ‘interesting’ (esoteric/spiritual) questions that would serve to present you in a ‘good light’. You would be very efficiently deflected with a short answer – usually one that involved some form of ‘mystical esoteric’ mumbo-jumbo – such as the ‘mystical meaning’ of various letters of the alphabet (which Eugene Halliday expertly morphed into whatever it was that he wanted any particular letter to mean at this particular time) followed by his advice to ‘do something to demonstrate to yourself that you understand this’ – which in the overwhelming majority of cases here of course the person seeking to involve themselves here never actually got around to doing. He would then finish off here by saying something like, “And do let me know how you got on here please.’ …

Of course the querent here would alway inevitably not realize that this had happened 🙂 .. (That Eugene Halliday had simply given them something – usually extremely straightforward – to actually do, and that their attempts to engage him in further conversation were now contingent upon the fact that had done it!) … which I thought was brilliant!! …

And although this was not the case with those who employed his services ‘by the hour’ so to speak… And in that particular scenario, more complicated events were taking place anyway – notably that (after talking to many of them personally and listening to audio-tapes of these session) in my opinion he not only offered advice to his ‘clients’, but also used these ‘therapy’ situations to Work on himself … An extremely efficient state of affairs then..

I will add here that I never spoke directly with Eugene Halliday at length … ever … … And I only ever asked him one direct question – his answer to which was, “That question was answered 2,000 years ago.”.. (!) .. This was because he seemed to be answering, or have already answered, the ones that I was really interested in during one or other of his previously recorded talks or  essays…I never felt inclined to attempt to engage him in unnecessary social chatter then – particularly as he always seemed to have his hands full as it was; neither did I feel any particular resonance with the overwhelming majority of those who regularly attended ISHVAL either – because most of them just seemed to be involved in playing some form of elaborate social game to me. …

I would add here though that, ten years or so after his death, I did discover one or two people who appeared to me to be grappling with his material, but not nearly as many as I would have expected – at least considering the number of years that many of them spent coming to his talks etc.

Anyway, observing Eugene Halliday employing, what I saw as, his technique of ‘screening’, and coming to realize just how successful it was, I thought it would be a great idea if I attempted to appropriate it for myself 🙂 …

So I did go on to make use of it, but in an entirely different field…

And so i would claim that this particular technique of his now has a very definite experiential component for me. And I must say that – as with other techniques that I believed I observed Eugene Halliday making use of – as soon as I’d tried it for myself for a short time, it seemed a very useful and rather obvious thing to do.

I found that this technique of his was very straightforward – always provided that you could manage to keep focussed on what you were aiming at. But, I repeat, any realization here that you are after will only ever come about after you take the trouble to apply techniques of his like this for yourself, and then reflect upon your experiences with them…

I’ll now try to describe my own particular experience here with this technique, as briefly as I can then. So you can see what I mean

I was always being asked to ‘give piano lessons’.. And although it was very easy money for me, luckily I didn’t need it… And anyway, I actually didn’t like ‘teaching piano’ … at all.

However, I always seemed to have one or two pupils that I would end up seeing ever fortnight or so – which sort of  served to ‘kept me in the market-place’ if you like (I found it paid for my petrol 🙂 …). And as a consequence (because I in fact was ‘out there’) I would be asked now and again by others if I would also give them lessons.

So I realized that I had to devise some way of ‘filtering’ would-be pupils (that most of the other ‘teachers’ in this area would then take on anyway, if only for the money) without offending anyone – if I could possibly manage it.

I should quickly add here that I was always prepared to help someone out if I thought that they were really interested in what I did , and that I thought had what it takes to be any good – but that was not my experience in the main…

My rules here were simple. I would always go to their place. I always had somewhere to go no later than one and a quarter hours after I arrived. And here’s the ‘Halliday bit’ … I would ‘give them a ‘lesson’, and tell them that they would be required to practically demonstrate that they had ‘got it’ the next time that I came… If they hadn’t ‘got it’ then they would receive exactly the same lesson from me again, but would still pay me in full… However, if they wished, they could audio-tape, or video, this ‘second-time through’  so that they would have no excuse for, “not having remembered this, or that, other bit.”…

In order to receive a third lesson though, they would now have to phone me to let me know that they had absorbed that previous one.

Most ‘pupils’ didn’t make it past two lessons – almost invariably because they simply would not put the necessary practice time in; or would claim that they ‘knew it’ but hadn’t quite got round to ‘doing it’ yet; or spent most of their time looking for short-cuts; or were more concerned with devising elaborate motives as to why it was that they, ‘couldn’t ‘do it’…just now.” – usually because they were embarrassed because when they saw me do it, “It looked (relatively) easy.”; or they just told me that, “This is the way I do it.” – in which case I would always reply, “Well obviously you don’t need me to help you then .. do you?”

Or they would be able to do sections of the material that I gave them in the lesson, but not others. In which case they would spend almost all their time on the piano going over and over these bits that they could already do…

In the case of one particular instruction that I always gave them, many had convinced themselves that it was of minor importance – which fascinated me because, although I always went to great pains to explain to them just how important, just how fundamental, it was, they somehow never managed to grasp this fact. And – it seemed to me – to have subsequently programmed themselves to be oblivious (in the absence of someone like me pointing it out – which tended to profoundly irritate them) to what it was that they were (not) doing.. A bit like Eugene Halliday’s rule that interested parties who wanted to ‘do what he was doing’ must ‘activate’ their ‘passive’ language then.

This single instruction from me was very simple – I told them that no matter what they were playing, they had to tap their foot ‘rhythmically in time’ while they did so.

What is even more mysterious here is that, even if I taped what it was they were playing and explained to them, or demonstrated to them, exactly how they were, at the moment, ‘rhythmically all over the place’ they simply refused to ‘have it’ – even if they agreed with me at the time!… But then you might be astonished at just how many so-called ‘professional musicians’ cannot play rhythmically either – and, even more mysteriously perhaps, have been able to get away with it for the whole of their careers!

Most beginners here really believed that they ‘wanted to do something’, but would nearly always convince themselves that what it was that they were doing – after the minimum amount of effort on their part – was ‘near enough’ (“Sounds fine to me, mate!”) And what it was that they couldn’t do, “didn’t really matter.” … They had constructed their own ‘hierarchy’ then, of ‘the relative importance of things that must be done here’…

But playing ‘Rhythm and Blues’ keyboards is, unfortunately for them, not at all simple. (Although the fact that you can program machines to organize sound in this way today has seriously complicated, or obscured, this basic fact… Something I refer to, by the way, as the ‘blow-up doll’ version, if you’re interested).

There is a great deal of preparation that needs to be done, and – as they had requested advice from me – I required them to actually practice what it was that I gave them to do …Being beginners though, they obviously often found it difficult. So most of them quickly gave up on what it was that I required of them, but even so, somehow went on to convince themselves that they were getting somewhere … somehow … And of course, in the privacy of their own heads (where they could exercise their own autonomy – could be their own authority) … they were! 🙂 …

And then, having clobbered together the ability together to perform some bizarre rendition or other here, they ‘moved on’ and joined together (or only ever ‘hung-out’} with others who didn’t know what they were doing either. Who then all went on to re-define the necessary techniques required here, such that – voilà! – they were now ‘recognized experts in the field’.. Which is how I see exactly what Western popular culture has done with Black American Blues music; Brazilian guitar music; and ‘Oriental Martial Arts’, etc., by the way… And also of course any number of non-Western – so to say – ‘esoteric practices’ 🙂  with, of course, the connivence of any number of self-styled non-Western ‘gurus’ and ‘senseis’ who are only intent on traveling geographically in the other direction – usually because they quite fancy having their own little group of European followers (invariably with a pronounced female contingent); owning a BMW; and going to discos … 🙂

Which suited me fine 🙂 …

To provide the briefest of explanations here. People like me who are viscerally affected by music (in my case predominately Black American, or Cuban, or Latin American, music), and that incorporates an essential, pronounced rhythmical component, are first made aware of this pleasurable experience via a pronounced positive feeling towards it in their physical bodies.. (Watch a baby that can’t yet walk, but has learnt to stand move up by using the table or some other piece of furniture, and play them some music from a popular music station on your radio, and you will see exactly what I mean… Music will also effect many domestic animals in this visceral way, by the way – particularly birds)… This pleasurable experience can obviously be re-enforced (you can work out how exactly you would go about doing this for yourself I hope). But, far more importantly here, it can also, at some point, be reproduced by the (originally ‘passive’) being who is having this experience. And acquiring this ability subsequently provides this being with a potentially ‘autonomous’ (interesting word) experience. However, in order to possess this autonomy, the means of doing so has to be acquired by Working, in order to gain that necessary ‘active’ technique(s)…

The only component of this technique that is present in the beginning here though is that ‘physical response’ I mentioned – which is always in the form of a repetitive physical movement (clue)… The student therefore must ‘work backwards’ as it were, from this already present physical ability (this innate response if you like) until they can ‘organize sound’ cognitively… At which point this ‘organizing ability , can now be used to ‘move outwards’ again, back into the body. The being can now, as it were, do two things at once! To put it simply, it can now ‘perform for its own enjoyment’… The cognitive component (the understanding of what it is they are doing); the emotional component (that ‘guide’, which gives them that rational aesthetic experience necessary to the inputting of more ‘feeling’ – of ‘yes’ or ‘no’) and the physical component (that response of their own bodies to their own efforts) are now co-ordinated – are now balanced – such that the being can now truly claim to be ‘rhythmical’, and not simply ‘know what rhythmical music is when they hear it’ or just be able to maintain that ‘they quite like it’…

So my instructions to beginners was never about me wanting to get them to just ‘tap their feet’, but to actually ‘involve their feet’ …. rhythmically!  – But I could never tell them that in the beginning because they wouldn’t ‘get it’ at all! Or even worse they might think they did!..

I will just add here that the overwhelming majority of males (at least the one’s that I know) don’t think it’s odd that, if they ask a girl to dance, then she can just sort of ‘fit in’ with what they were doing.. I, on the other hand, have always thought this ability was quite magical, and believed that I would really be getting somewhere if I could do something like that.. (Now you’ll either see the earth-shattering importance of my Working on this, or you won’t 🙂 ..) 

I would just add that the number of those who claimed to be ‘musical’ (you can substitute ‘yoga experts’ here) that attended Eugene Halliday’s meetings who were clearly ‘not rhythmical’, was extra-ordinary!! … And I will also add that I can tell if someone is rhythmical or not immediately – which some of you might find a bit spooky…

Why is all this so very important as far as I’m concerned, you might ask? Well, other than to say it is pertinent to all this (to say the least) I’m not going to tell you. Because if you can’t work out why for yourself (and relatively quickly), then- for the moment at least – you will never understand any of all this really anyway… Which isn’t to say that you might not ‘know’ a lot about ‘all this’ though – but that’s not the same thing at all… is it?  🙂

Had, though, I been ‘touting for business’; or I needed to ‘make a few bob’; or if I’d ‘wanted a reputation’; or if I was after ‘my own little gang of followers’, I would – of course – have gone about things in an entirely different manner. And would probably have started my ‘pupils’ (aKa ‘my flock’) off, by getting them to ‘playing the scale of C with one hand in one octave’ or something equally as useless, and then gone on for over 50 lessons or so, to ‘teach’ them lots of other irrelevant stuff – and eventually… Who knows? They may be able to remember so much of this stuff that they could even go on to become ‘teachers’ themselves… … … A bit like being one of those ‘yoga teachers’ then; or ‘Martial Artists’ who couldn’t fight their way out of a wet Echo …   🙂

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Back to the concept of ‘inertia’ for a moment …

To get a real hold on what Eugene Halliday’s concept of ‘inertia’ is about, I believe you must ground this word in your own experiences.

And, in attempting to throw some light on your own … ‘intertic tendencies’, I would advise you to beware of ‘amateur therapists’

Because if you do indulge in this form of relationship, understand clearly that it will be that ‘therapist’ who controls and oversees the ‘active’ component of this aspect of it, of this aspect your life. And it is they who will have been allowed by you to assume real ‘authority’ here. Because they will now be in charge of dictating that script that you both subsequently engage in, in the process of acting out this relationship – and in which you will always play the role of the ‘passive’ partner ..(Try and unpack the phrase, “I’m in therapy,” in terms of it’s hierarchy, and then ask yourself the question, “Will there ever be a time when I will assume the ‘active role’ here, or does a successful ‘course of therapy’ automatically assume that any relationship here (which by its very nature is ‘intimate’) will be terminated . And your analyst and you will then both move on with your ‘proper lives’?)

Your enjoyment of these ‘sessions’ will almost certainly be, in the main, because you imagine that this person is taking a’real’ interested in you, and so you feel yourself to be the center of attention (if only for a very short time, and for which you do pay for, one way or another) … Regrettably though they are far more likely to be indulging in their desire for power in relationships, and ‘you’ could just as easily be ‘anyone’… Although – and this I do find fascinating – they actually probably imagine that they are doing something else entirely!

How it is that you do put that story of your past together (and not someone else for you – although it’s possible for you to receive help here) is crucial to this understanding of inertia for you, by the way…. And if you do happen to come to any understanding here of this ‘past’, you then need to do what it was that Eugene Halliday insists you do, which is to change it … Not the events themselves, but whether you experience them ‘in the now’ as  ‘actively’ and not ‘passively’, and in my opinion this is really very hard Work.

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When Eugene Halliday was formulating ideas and promoting his concepts to groups of interested listeners (such that many even came to view him as almost infallible) – what, back then, was actually going on? … What changes were taking place in those who were subsequently turned into ‘subjects’ here? What is it that they ‘relinquished’ (or ‘appropriated’) – if anything? …

Or did he plant these ideas of his in ‘virgin ground’? …. That is, was a seductive picture of reality painted by Eugene Halliday for those who didn’t already have one of their own; or who didn’t like (or didn’t feel satisfied) with the the one that they already had, or the one that was imposed on them as children?…

Was it, in the end then, only ever really about satisfying appetites? … Some form of processed ‘mental food’, so to speak and (here’s a thought) possible (like the ingestion of mercury or lead in small does over a long period) highly toxic?

Was this all because he was so convincing (so seductive)? … But if he was, why is it that almost nobody that claims to have a ‘special’ connection to him can give a substantial, coherent, account of what it was that he was forever going on about? … And even if they ‘sort-of’ can, why is it that these people seem unable to suggest any method of proceeding with this account of his, such that it demonstrates that these accounts were, indeed, ‘Authoritative’ – rather than them simply being ‘transfixed in the moment’ by his rhetorical skill – hypnotized almost – and thus unable to provide an explanation as to why it was that the overwhelming majority who went to hear him speak for years on end, only appear to have the vaguest of ideas about the substance of what it was that he actually said … Any possible aid for them (if any) contained in his many talks having evaporated almost completely (and often almost immediately) after he had finished speaking… Sort of like seeds falling on the ground, sprouting far too early, growing too quickly and then being killed by the sun and lack of water? .. If, that is, you quite like the idea of referring to his creative output as ‘containing seeds’ … 🙂

Is this a common phenomena? … This inability to retain something seen and heard that – at the time – produced a significant affect (gasps of mutual admiration and agreement)… I would argue that it’s a lot more common than you might think….

Here’s an example of this inability to remember fairly succinct ideas from another area of peoples lives, that I would claim almost everyone is familiar with…. Although it’s not very ‘witchy-poo’ I’m afraid.

That comedian on TV the other night you laughed at almost continually until you were crying so hard that you could hardly breath – because the jokes were so very, very, funny… … All those marvelous jokes that you couldn’t remember the next day … !

Notice that you are liable to have slightly better recall though if you were watching a funny sit-com   .. Because, even though you were still passively watching here, you can still find it relatively easy to recall a ‘direction’ to the situation(s) presented to you (the particular ‘story-line’ in that particular episode last night) to the extent that is necessary here… And that you can subsequently, therefore, still ‘identify with ‘ – or ‘take part in’… That story (that fantasy) containing those events portrayed, such that you can re-run them the next day for yourself ‘in your mind’ if you wish .. These events – because they are in the form of a narrative – that you can, with far more ease, dredge up from your memory, along with the recall of that pleasurable state you experienced… It’s humorous aspect then …

And particularly so if you are relating this episode next day to someone else, say a friend, (“And then what happened was … Oh! It was really funny! …”) …

So, although these events did not constitute an actual lived (experiential) situation for you, this sit-com – in an imaginative sense at least – was still somehow ‘real’ for you … You ‘took part’ in it in such a way that it was memorized as an ‘experience’ of sorts… In the same way that you identify with that image you have created for yourself and others – only in this case you do believe it.

… I see all this as evidence for my view of beings possessing both ‘authentic’ and ‘genuine’ aspects of this being etc. … And which I believe I have provided ample information about in previous posts here … So I won’t be repeating myself on that subject here yet again – you’ll be glad to hear 🙂

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In my own case I was always acutely aware that I did not wholeheartedly totally accept Eugene Halliday’s particular perception of reality… But what his public expressions of this perception of his (both verbal and written) certainly did for me, was to make me realize that it was possible for any individual to construct their own view here (as he had done) by the process of attempting to embody some major concept(s) or other that they had adopted, and then Working through the consequences of doing so…. For example, by maintaining that – “If I have come to the conclusion that this is the way things came to be; then why is this now happening?” …(Because, say, if my view was correct, then it shouldn’t be happening) …

So then, I don’t believe that this attempt by Eugene Halliday to ‘make sense of it all’ was in any way ‘magical’ or ‘occult’ – as his own material appears to me to proceed directly from the particular overview he gained as a result of his various studies, particularly in the areas of pre-1900’s philosophy; science; and also his interpretations of various religious texts.

The most obvious concepts here would include those of field forces; energy; and consciousness.. Thus I don’t accept that Eugene Halliday was carrying on the tradition of keeping some ‘Perennial Philosophy’ going (an idea that I find, frankly, ridiculous), Rather, and far more importantly for me, I believe – for me at least – that he was demonstrating, in act (‘before my very eyes’ that is) – a perennial truth – which is that we can create our own world. And that this might, or might not, involve any particular philosophy, or set of beliefs, whatsoever..

Which is a far more magical thing to demonstrate than merely just the trotting out of mechanical, second-hand ideas… And which also explains to me why it is that I believe so many down here seem to have only ever succeeded in getting themselves stuck ‘right in it’.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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(We see him sitting at his desk, his jacket is over the back of his chair, his tie has been loosened and the top button of his shirt is open. He is speaking into an old-fashioned dictaphone, and he looks somewhat tired)

“The proof that there must be some hidden ‘secret truth’ in all this, seems to be based entirely on their readiness to admit that they have not – as yet – been able to find any evidence of its existence!

“This tool, this ‘language’ that they all possess… That they create their texts from … Many of them seem to believe – and spend much of their life looking for – particularly in the case of those ‘Sacred Texts’ that so many of them are so fond of … something … some hidden message …. that someone, or some thing, or some agency .. has left behind …

And so much effort is then expended by them in tasks such as – for example – re-combining various fragments of these texts, or substituting different vowels to the words in these texts – in order to discover this ‘secret message’ …

This pursuit of theirs is referred to by them in many ways …. (He pauses).. ‘Occult interpretation’, for example .. or ‘Divine Revelation’. …. But of course they aren’t uncovering any such message at all… What they are actually doing, is creating entirely new texts, with entirely new meanings here, that were very often obviously not even implied in the original text…  (He pauses) … An act of creation then!!

And so it is obviously always possible for them to experience that joy which any creative act induces … (He carries on immediately, his voice rising).. But of course, in almost all cases here, that’s not what happens to them at all!

They instead become obsessed with the idea that they have found a ‘hidden, or secret, truth’ within this text, and will often spend the remainder of their time here attempting to prove this to others (He pauses and stares at the floor before continuing very softly)As if that was what really mattered in all this…(His voice rises)… At all!!”

 Fragment from
‘ Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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I have never been much of a fan of the, “I am weak but thou art strong,” view-point at least when it comes to understanding ‘Authority’… But I do fully appreciate that if one is really in need at various times in one’s life – when say, really dreadful personal things are happening – then crying out for guidance etc. seems to me to be a very normal, and very human, thing to do. … But not for every second of your existence!

Do we really have to ask for help from Jesus to decide what clothes to wear; what washing powder to buy; or whether or not ‘to take the car to the shops, or just walk instead’? …. 

So why not take some time out to realize just what it is that you are actually capable of  being responsible for…

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Someone stands up on a box in the middle of Times Square, or Piccadilly Circus, and proclaims to anyone unlucky to be within earshot that they are ‘Representing The Supreme Authority’… But no one takes any notice of them…

What sorts of things would have to subsequently take place here for these ‘self-proclaimers’  to – as a direct consequence – be believed? …

A demonstration of ‘supernatural powers’ perhaps? (Always guaranteed to grab the attention of the ‘Great Unwashed’) …

In your case though, this demonstration of ‘supernatural powers’ would have to be witnessed by you first-hand; or delivered to you in an account that was relayed to you by: a) Someone you ‘trust’; or b) Your favorite news outlet; etc. etc. before you believed it … surely?

(I believe that formulating questions like this are a very important aid in ‘getting to know one’s self’)..

It’s far easier to answer the following question though, “How does it come about that ‘the police’ have authority?” … And that’s part of the trouble here… The answer that you would give to this question, in practical terms at least explains every other instance (excluding the ‘brute force’ one) where it concerns anyone else’s particular attempt to claim, or to assume, power… It crucially requires an investment on the part of you and others here – that you all agree to ‘recognize’ this position of power.

To repeat… How does it come to be that one person comes to have authority over another; or that one person comes to have authority over many; or that one group of people have authority over another group of people? … Lots of questions here then, that can lead to the investigation of all sorts of useful words to Work on (in that attempt of yours to acquire an ‘active language’) – such as, for example, ‘subject’; ‘subjective’, and so on; and thus: ‘object’; ‘objective’ etc..

I’ll just mention here once again that in the past I did spend a considerable amount of time Working with the words ‘authentic’ (which shares the same root as ‘authority”; and also ‘genuine’ (which shares the same root as General (in the military sense)… Because I was interesting in discovering what sorts of things contribute to the creation of what ultimately becomes both: a) ‘An Authoritative Text’  and b) – where it concerns a person – ‘An Authority’. But, in this latter case, not in the collective social sense (as in the case of say, a member of the judiciary) but rather in the ‘single-person sense’ (if I can put it that way).

Thus – in this sense at least – I would claim that Eugene Halliday ‘possessed authority’ … He, for example, made use of the ‘royal ‘We’..’ when referring to activities of the collective membership of Ishval – the most innocent use of this ‘We’ then, might be that everyone there was being reinforced with the notion that – where it concerned be particular little snippet that was being mentioned at that particular time – everybody was ‘on the same page’. And so no need to ‘ponder that particular snippet’ then … So an ‘authodoxy’ then … (Same root as ‘authority, by the way 🙂 …)

NOTE: A great exercise here, is for you to first of all explore how ‘accepting authority’ has been responsible – even if it is only in part – for you engaging in any number of activities that has been formulated by others… And when you’ve done that (so that, hopefully, you now appreciate how this happens in your own case) why not then try a much harder exercise, and try to recall if there has ever been any activity on your part that you can confidently claim was not a consequence of you engaging in activity that had not – in part at least – been formulated by others… And if you manage that one, then why not try going on to the really hard exercise here –  Imagining what engaging in activity that has not been formulated – in part at least – by others could actually mean .. 

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“And the real value of empathic relationships – as opposed to those self-congratulatory bouts of compassion that they’re so fond of wallowing in? .. Well of course there is always that possibility that these empathic relationships can be reciprocated … and also, that not only can they be with the ‘other’ in the way that the ‘other’ is experiencing the world; but the relationship can be such that it allows them to imagine what the ‘other’ would do if they were faced with the same situation that they were in… … That is, they can use empathy … the ‘other’ … to help free themselves from their own particular problem … But very, very, few of them ever manage to realize this..(He pauses) … And usually these abilities … ’empathy’ and ‘compassion’ … are only ever brought up by them in order to demonstrate to themselves and others just how … how … understanding … and thus clever … they are.. Which of course they imagine now places them further up that ‘spiritual pecking order’ of theirs… gives them more ‘authority’ (He pauses and grins) … But really all that’s going on here is that they are addicted to thinking of themselves as … caring deeply …. Whenever they can … Hence their addiction to what they like to call, ‘The News’ by the way…

 Fragment from
‘ Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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Briefly – Of the less than half-dozen or so concepts of Eugene Halliday’s that I have actually seriously Worked with (something that I quickly came to appreciate takes, for me at least, a very long time to get into) the following two have probably been the most important for me, with the exception of a number of  concepts that are contained in his ‘Tacit Conspiracy’ essay that is 🙂 … (But the elaboration by me of these particular concepts would, I believe, require me to write at least another half-a-dozen or so posts. And, for the moment at least, that constitutes a big ‘no-no’, I’m afraid) …

So just the two here then:

 1: ‘Working’ – as a way to activate your language.

If you have read my previous posts you will hopefully already appreciate that, in my experience at least, the approach that I originally took in order to tackle the problem of Working was not nearly as straightforward as I first thought it was going to be. Because I soon discovered that if I was ever going to get anything to ‘stick’ here – notably in order to be able to ‘develop that potential in being’ (Which, thankfully, didn’t necessarily require me to be nice to everybody all the time, or anything even remotely like that) – I had to subsequently involve what I believed were the various ‘fruits of my labors here’ into appropriate, customized, forms of praxis  … So ‘Walking the walk’, I quickly realized, was essential here then; as opposed to merely ‘Talking the talk’ … you might say.

As a positive consequence of this approach though, I would add that – if my experiences here are anything to go by at least – you can reasonably expect to be able to ditch at least 99% of those you come across who claim to be involved, or interested, in ‘Matters Halliday ‘ here – as the overwhelming majority of them are ‘into’ these matters for entirely different motives. This hard-line approach by you might – in the short term at least –  prove to be somewhat disappointing, but does have an extremely positive aspect, in that it illuminates just how difficult this view of Working’ of mine, is, and it also helps to keep you at it when the going gets tough’

Incidentally (if you’re interested in these sorts of things) this active/passive language concept of Eugene Halliday’s is, in my opinion, something very like Gurdjieff’s ‘Law of Three’. The third part of which (Gurdjieff’s ‘Neutralizing Force’) I came to see as very similar to my own way of looking at this (or so I like to think). That is – in my case – Gurdjieff’s term here – ‘neutralizing’ – was experienced by me, as my having ‘achieved a state of temporary balance that now enabled me to move forward’… So I don’t actually experience the results of Working as ‘Neutralizing’ anything: instead I experience a momentary state of ‘dynamic balance’ – which is, rather obviously I suppose, why I came to use the term ‘balance’ here.

NOTE – ‘Eugene Halliday – Lesson 101’: Changing a function (think of this as what it or what you actually do) changes a form.. Which – as a consequence – now requires those of us who are Working to provide a different label/word that we can then subsequently use in order to express more clearly the differentiated personal meanings/experiences that have arisen here .. So again, not ‘neutralizing’ for me then, but rather ‘balancing’. ..

So, in my case then, immediately upon a successful attempt at Working to transform something ‘passive’ (experienced as resistance to change, or inertia, or to engramic dispositions, or whatever term you like to use here)  into ‘active’ (assertive – now able to be used to push here), this instantaneously brings into being a state of balance that requires a movement ‘forward’ (at the very moment ‘the penny drops’ here, as it were); or you might like to say that it occasions a movement ‘upward’ – if you’re a fan of Gurdjieff’s metaphor here.

Or, to put this yet another way, more ‘power’ is now available to you – or more means  of ‘screwing things up’ are now at your disposal  🙂

This new situation that you see yourself in – which, you like to believe is as a direct consequence of your efforts here – enables you to (we might say for the time being) ‘now see things with a bit more clarity’… And you begin to notice that ‘being presented with a new experience’ is something that only ever happens to the overwhelming majority of people when they barge into something that was directly in their path; that they failed to see right under their very noses, even though it came complete with a great big flashing neon sign attached to it that was notifying them of the fact… And which is then, as a consequence, almost invariably – in their eyes at least – experienced as something that is ‘definitely not required’: or – if they like to imagine themselves as being more ‘refined’ – as ‘rather inconvenient at the moment’…. Because of course it might wake them up!

This ‘new’ situation (And by ‘new’ here I don’t mean something like ‘original’ or ‘unique’ by the way… I use ‘new situation” here to simply mean the ‘most recent situation’… So it could be one – in fact it probably will be – that has happened to you many times before – only you just didn’t notice the last twenty-five or so times that it did, because you were probably too busy fiddling with yourself)… Anyway this ‘new’ situation is one that you find will now immediately present you with yet more of your very own passive stuff. That you – once again – are required to Work on, by shoving actively against it with more of your active stuff; until once again you achieve a state of balance that impels you to, once again, move forward …

That, by the way, is what the ‘Time Process’ is all about for me. And why I experience many other people as somehow ‘being stuck’ here… Because even though they might be ‘changing’ – that is, growing more wrinkly by the day almost –  they’re not ‘transforming’… A different word again, do you see? With a different form then, and so it possesses a different function… etc. etc.

And what do you go on to do next? … “What’s the aim here of all this?” …Or, “Get to the point will you, I’m very busy!” you might say. Well, essentially, you keep on repeating this process until you die … That’s really what it’s all about down here for me… And the endlessly pursuit of ‘enjoyment’ or whatever it is that most people get up to? …. I’d prefer to leave that to our cat, ‘Juke’ because, to me, that’s all he ever seems to want to do – no ‘post-industrial 20th-century existential angst, as a consequence of living through the present phase of free-market capitalism’, or ‘gender confusion’ for him!!! …

NOTE: I’ve mentioned Gurdjieff here, because I think it’s about time that I ‘came out’ and made it clear that there were any number of beings about in the 20th century that I found very helpful to me. And I am not, and have never been, simply a ‘follower’ or a ‘pupil’ of any one particular person. I have rather (very deliberately) tried to take only what I believed that I needed – no more or no less – from wherever I happened to find it, in order to continue Working. And look – many of Gurdjieff’s ideas – such as ‘The Enneagram’; or his stuff about ‘rays’ and  ’emanations’; or ‘feeding the moon’; or ‘hydrogens’, were not really up to much in my opinion. But in the end all this really means is I didn’t find them useful to me… I have also found a great deal of material that was produced by Idries Shah to be useful to me  – but again, by no means all of it.

FURTHER NOTE: You might also find the following of relevance here: Of all the people that I interviewed extensively re Eugene Halliday, the person that had known him the longest by far (from the very early 1940’s in fact) was Donald Lord. And one of the things that interested me greatly in this account to me of his, was his insistence that “Eugene Halliday was NOT a teacher.”  … !
I had spent ten years of my life as a qualified lecturer (I mention this here only so that you can appreciate that I believed I knew what ‘teaching’ and ‘being a teacher’ was all about), and I found myself agreeing with Donald Lord’s, comments here. But as I’d never really thought about Eugene Halliday’s talks in this way until he mentioned this – I had never really ‘formulated’ what it was that Eugene Halliday was doing and, if he wasn’t teaching .. then what was he doing?”
Very soon after, I was discussing this with close friend of mine, and he immediately gave me a copy of this document below. And a great deal of what it was that Eugene Halliday was doing immediately became very much clearer….
You might like to read it – it’s not that long at all… It was put together by someone from a completely different culture almost 700 years ago, and it contained exactly what I needed here, because it very succinctly nails for me much (but by no means all) of what I had already intuited that ‘teachers’ and ‘teaching’ is really about.
Here it is: The Counsels of Bahaudin Naqshband ….. and it served to re-enforce my belief that those who were listening to Eugene Halliday giving his talks in the ‘right way’, were able to observe him ‘in the act’ of Working, as it were; and also why it’s an almost complete waste of time to just try and ‘learn’ or ‘remember’ these talks – particularly so if you have no real intention of Working yourself – but are simply trying to copy him.
If you like, it’s more the case that he’s demonstrating what it is that he ‘does’ (so you know then that something like this can actually be done) in order to encourage you to put together a system of your own so that you will be able to do it… for yourself .. So imitating Eugene Halliday’s hair-style hasn’t really got anything to do with it… Has it?

Incidentally, that concept of Gurdjieff’s (his ‘Law of Three’) was around long before Eugene Halliday’s ideas re Working to activate one’s language. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Eugene Halliday used this law to kick-start his own particular experiential approach to this subject of Working… Involving Gurdjieff’s methods into his own ideas re language then, which was a mode of praxis here that immediately appealed far more to me in that I felt I was far more able to involve myself in Eugene Halliday’s method, than involve myself in what I took to be Gurdjieff’s methods here – which often seemed to involve physically doing something – like deciding to remain standing all day, and then watching ‘what came up as a consequence’.

And this is actually what I eventually did with Eugene Halliday’s suggestion that we develop our own active language  … I customized what I took to be his way of doing things here and went on to construct a system that worked for me. And it seems to me that anyone who does actually do any Work automatically has to go on – from the ‘hand-up’ that they have been freely given here from other beings – and develop their own particular method(s)… Understand here that I’m not talking about ‘principles’ – although to others, you might seem to be expressing these in such a completely different way to the one that they’ve become passively used to hearing, that you appear to be talking about something else entirely. I’m talking about the fact that you will never know any of this unless you do it yourself, unless it is you. If you persist otherwise, you will simply jump from one thing to another as it takes your fancy. So, in short then, I believe that we must all write our own accounts here based on our own experiences.

So re ‘passive and active’ language then – ‘In the beginning was the Word’ – and after that, it seems to me, there was then a whole lot more ‘words’. So many of them in fact that we’ve been drowning in them ever since…

And what is it that you will be required to do when you’ve ‘heard’ these ‘words’? … Well … Work!

And the good news here is that we can already – every single one of us – actually ‘hear’ the words that we need to hear in order to progress at every moment of our lives – should we chose to stop for a moment and listen…But then we would have to go on to spend some of our time (initially at least) figuring out the consequences of what it is that our own unique particular ‘message’ requires us to do down here. Which will certainly be – we already suspect – something ‘real’ … and very possibly extremely inconvenient..

A dangerous situation to put yourself in that – at least according to Jacob Boehme… Because if you come to see, with any clarity, what it is that you need do..  And then you don’t do it… Well! …. That’s a whole different ball-game now isn’t it? … Because you’ve run out of excuses, and can’t claim any more that you, “Didn’t really know,” or that you, “Made a mistake, and you’re sorry.” etc… A situation that explains for me why it is that so many of those I have seen ‘searching for the truth’ sooner (rather than later) went on to engage in all sorts of fashionable ‘irrational behavior’ – which invariably seemed to involve (for us Westerners – at least at the present stage of the current zeitgeist) the attempt to emulate one form or other of dimly understood – and hence ‘seductive’ (“It’s all about the make-up and stage lighting folks!”) – exotic ‘Oriental’ practice or other.

So if you do start to Work – be careful, because you will end up getting exactly what you asked for, which will almost certainly be something that – in the moment – you’re not going to particularly ‘enjoy’… One reason for this by the way, might be that, at the moment, you have no real idea what the word ‘enjoy’ actually means. In fact I would be prepared to wager that you will almost certainly have conflated this word with the word ‘pleasure’ …And I would also guess then, that you have never Worked on either of these words … So … If you’d like to start Working … right now … then simply form a sentence about one of your previous experiences with some form of the word ‘enjoy’ in it, and then substitute some form of the word ‘pleasure’ for it – and then ask yourself if these two sentences really mean anything different to you. If they don’t, then obviously you don’t really know what either of these words mean… Do you? .. … And by the way I did just use the world ‘simply’ here, and not ‘easy’… …. … … And that’s all the help you’re going to get from me here 🙂

And I know that I probably doesn’t need to make this point – but I suspect that I haven’t actually put it as straightforwardly as this so I’ll like to take the opportunity to do so now … … To be passive to someone else’s active language is not the same thing at all as being receptive to it… I know – it’s obvious, if you bother to think about it at all.. You’d be surprised though how many folks I’ve met who pretend they’re being receptive when actually they’re being passive – but that’s probably due to the company I keep 🙂

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Most of the people I have spoken with directly about Eugene Halliday’s concept of ‘Active and Passive language’ – particularly when I first began here in 2004 (and this would be mostly those who liked to think of themselves as one of his ‘Friends’) do not seem to have ever heard of it. Or if they had, then they clearly though that it was only of minor importance; or that his advice re acquiring this ‘Active’ language of theirs was merely a ‘polite suggestion’.

The majority of those who did present themselves as being somehow familiar with this concept of his appeared to me to be very confused as to what the point of it was; and that ‘looking up the definition’ or ‘researching the etymology’ of a word, and then attempting to commit this information to memory, was pretty much it – rather like a superior form of that Reader’s Digest’ page – ‘Increase Your Word-Power’ then… Or – by far the commonest form of this confusion here – mistaking the acquiring an ‘Active’ language for that of acquiring an ‘Effective’ language – of acquiring a skill then (something like ‘being a better bridge player’) – so that one will now be a more effective member of that debating team; or will be able to ‘slither’ far more effectively by becoming an even more effective ‘smart-assed ale-house lawyer’ …

‘Effective’ language is not the same thing at all as ‘Active’ language.. ‘Effective’ language though, does have many very positive applications, as when, for instance, it is used by a decent teacher  – one you remember from your time at school as being ‘good’; negatively, it is used by any number of fashionable New-Age ‘gurus’ and ‘spiritual superstars’; by rabble-rousing politicians, and various other slime-balls – who invariably always seem to have a way of saying things that you ‘like’ – just before you are encouraged to endorse them, or to part with your money and buy something – such as a car bumper-sticker – replete with that asinine. pithy, witty ‘saying’ that you ‘quite like’; or the latest, fashionable ‘Mediation DVD’; or even to just get you to ‘spend your vote wisely’ …!…

By the way, if you experience moments, whilst you were, say, listening to your favorite speaker, when they appeared to have answered a question that was ‘just at that moment on your mind’, then this is almost certainly because they are using ‘effective Language’ and (I know you’re going to be disappointed now) they are certainly not ‘telepathically and sensitively ‘tuning in’ to you’ .. It’s just another example of ‘Cold Reading’ (a technique that was employed in the past by music-hall magicians, and is still being used today in a far more clearly understood and sophisticated form by all those ‘TV Psychics’ and the like, if you want to look it up)…

In my experience, the sign of being in the presence of a real ‘active-language speaker’ is to make me feel vaguely uncomfortable – rather as if I’ve just been caught in the beam of a headlamp taking a pee at the side of the road . …

I believe that Eugene Halliday could affectively make use of both modes of address – which has always been something of a problem for me… One that is usually mediated by reflecting on his essay ‘Defense of the Devil’… but not always… And I would say that this was due to his ‘Mercurial nature’, if you were insisting on me being polite about this, that is…

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THAT WORD ‘SEX’ 
All you ever wanted to know about it, but were too afraid to ask

Conflating, or confusing the function of two separate (although not perhaps entirely independent) terms is one of the more interesting ways in which commonly understood meanings can be manipulated by both secular and religious authorities. in order to control the discourse.

The following example is interesting because there is a strong sense in which it is possible to view this conflating and confusing (over the past two thousand years or so – at least up until the latter part of the twentieth century, when it does become pretty much indefensible) as ‘understandable’, or at least ‘non-deliberate’ … I believe that it is now necessary for all you folks out there to separate out these two terms – always assuming of course that you haven’t already done so 🙂

Here you are then – ‘Sexual activity’ and ‘Genital activity’.  

The conflating and confusing of these two terms has, I believe, been directly responsible for, or underlies, the appearance of a large number of – possibly more than any other single human activity – many of those social and cultural mores that have been put into place during the previous couple of thousand years in order to keep ‘the great unwashed’ in-line; and consequently then for all sorts of weird and wonderful patterns of behavior (‘customs’) that have been practiced down here ever since, at least in the ‘West, ‘and much of the Middle East, that is.

These would include (but not be restricted to) for example, your common-or-garden genital mutilation – by which I mean circumcision. That is: the removal of the female clitoris, or the male foreskin  (the latter being a practice that is, even today, claimed by some to be ‘hygienic’ – though not the former); together with the Pauline attitude (shoved down our throats of many of us from about the age of seven) regarding the whole business of guys ‘spilling their seed on the ground’ (or if you don’t know what that means, for a more contemporary way of putting this, try ‘chucking one over the wrist’ ), of ‘fiddling about with yourself down there’ and as a direct consequence, very quickly becoming blind, or at very least extremely short-sighted, or growing hairy palms… ‘Tipping the velvet’ was not so much disapproved of in our mainly patriarchal societies here in the West though, perhaps because the guys in charge were never quite sure what the girls were up to in general, and anyway they quite enjoyed watching.

I’ve often wondered just how many post-pubescent boys and girls would agree to ‘have it done’ today … I can just imagine the scene (Teenage boy or girl on computer video link to pal), “Sorry, I can’t go to the disco with you on Saturday because I’m having the end of my dick cut off (or my clitoris sandpapered away)… I know – it’s a bit of a bummer – but my mum and dad would be upset if I didn’t get it done!” …

By the way, there was a far more severe form of this that was practiced by a significant number of the so-called ‘early church fathers’  … That of self-castration… And let’s not forget the present day form of this – that of (a largely pretend, or alas often tragic) ‘celibacy’ – which is claimed to be practiced by officials of some of the same organizations… 

Simply put, ‘Sexual Activity’ (where it concerns human beings (as opposed to say all those trillions of little creatures – viruses, bacteria, and single-celled things etc – that are hanging around inside your body, who don’t engage in this activity because they can’t, and so are ‘asexual’ – which means ‘non-sexual’) is the combination of genetic material from two donors  – one ‘male’ and one ‘female’ – in order to introduce a new member of the species to this wonderful world. (NOTE: ‘Asexual Activity’ is strictly a ‘go it alone, do-it-yourself’ affair then).

And I think it’s obvious in this ‘sexual’ arrangement that most females were (and are) far more acutely aware of this state of affairs than men – who, even if they insist that what they’re really doing when ‘having sex’ is ‘reproducing’ (as opposed to say, having a great time) would not be believed by anyone (even themselves)…

But then along came ‘the pill’ .. which was then followed by even more interesting developments here! One result of which was that females can now do all this reproducing without the ‘help’ of men or, to be more precise, without any of that old-fashioned bonking taking place – by simply submitting to an IVF procedure at their local IVF clinic. In fact I can remember when, as a result of this procedure, hysterical lesbians were out there proclaiming that ‘woman no longer needed nasty horrible men’…

Unfortunately for the lesbians however, I’m afraid that further advances in science are also now threatening the ‘exclusive’ role of the female here. Because eggs can now be fertilized outside of the womb… And just how long do you think it will be before we can conduct this whole messy reproduction process, this ‘sexual activity’ some place else entirely’? … (You can actually see a move towards the acceptance of this way of couples combining their genetic material with the present day use by those who can afford it, and have left it a bit late perhaps, of surrogate mums).

‘Genital Activity’ – on the other hand – need have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with ‘Sexual Activity’ at all! … Which – although it was always was the case – was never quite clear, due to its ‘reproductive’ aspect. 

‘Genital Activity’ always involves an erotic charge. So if any idea, or any suggested activity, doesn’t turn you on, then (for the guys say) there’s no hope of ‘the little soldier standing to attention’.. and thus no possibility of any ‘Genital Activity’ taking place.

‘Sexual activity’ and ‘genital activity’ are for me, two very obviously different activities, primarily because they are obviously two completely different terms… In fact I would call one of them largely ‘active’ and the other largely ‘passive’ or ‘receptive’. However, exactly in what circumstances I did so, would depend entirely upon what mood you happened to catch me in at the time 🙂

Exactly where all this concerns the edicts of all those ‘World Religions’ and ‘right’ and ‘left’ wing political ideologies is at the moment extremely ‘muddled’ … Basically because those involved are stupid.

But when the dust settles, where, and why. will all this leave the subjects of reproductive rights and gay rights in a hundred or so years?  … I for one would love to know 🙂

Expanded from a number of entries contained in ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

 

2: ‘Reflexive Self-Consciousness’.

A concept that is – at least in my experience of speaking about it with others –  invariably conflated with something like ‘Heightened Self-Awareness’… … Not the same thing… at all! … But it does go a long way to explain why it is that so many I initially met here ‘went on’ to engage in one version or another of fashionable  ‘non-Occidental’ practice or other (the more exotic the better); or indulge in some form or other of what they claim is a ‘creative’ or ‘artistic’ activity, and so still ‘failed to get it’. Because if you can’t see that there very could easily be an army of ‘ordinary housewives’ out there who, even though they’ve never heard of Mr Halliday or ever done ‘yoga’, are far more reflexively self-conscious than anyone you could ever imagine – then you’ve missed the point of all this entirely…Thinking of smelly fishermen, tax-collectors, and ladies of the night, might help you though – if you’re having a problem here.

On the other hand, I do fully appreciate that engaging in these practices can be beneficial, at least in helping to keeping the lid on one variety or other of rather common Western neurotic condition – such as ‘Post-Industrial Existential Angst’, or ‘An Irrational Middle-Class Fear of the Great Unwashed’ for example. However, all that these activities seem to be to me, are merely yet another form of (‘natural’) self-medication… And although engaging in them is something that, I will freely admit, is a far better method of controlling these conditions than random ‘pill-popping’, I would say that they are – none the less – still only yet another ‘prop’ to be used in order to manage (but not banish) a situation which I believe Eugene Halliday would maintain the overwhelming majority here have brought upon themselves. By spending most of their energy on realizing their ‘worldly ambitions’ – be these ambitions social, or artistic, or ‘spiritual’, or cultural (even to the extent of, say, joining the Armed Forces, or the Peace Corps); or economic; or the consequences of what I might call ‘their natural appetites’; or simply because they have, by and large, judged themselves to have lead a somewhat sedentary and largely pointless existence to date, and are now suffering from the consequences of doing so at some later stage in their lives.

But (luckily for me) I also happen to believe that this position most of us have placed ourselves in rather early on in our lives is exactly the one that is needed in order to begin to Work. (Eugene Halliday often referred to these various adopted life-styles as examples of behaving ‘prodigally’). Because, as all of these consequences stem from either the way in which we have chosen to live our lives; or that we maintain we have ‘just’ found ourselves to be situated in ‘innocently’ (“None of this is really my fault officer.”)…’, they still constitute overwhelmingly – and certainly, initially at least – the actual ‘concrete matter’, or the ‘stuff’, or the ‘prima materia’,  of our own particular real ‘situation’. A state of affairs that somehow must be faced if there is ever going to be even the remotest possibility of us ever making any real progress down here; of – that is – instituting any real change in order to ultimately initiate some (even minor) transformation; or – if you prefer – to go on to realize a real profit of any sort here, no matter how insignificant it might seem to us at the time.

Indeed, I would say that we must all, without exception (and here I would include Eugene Halliday) ‘come here to this gate, or entrance’ if we really want to have any chance at all of at least beginning to move forward here.

However, in order to do any of this really. That is, in order to move forward here, it has to be done reflexively. If, on the other hand you merely wish to throw that dart of yours in that treble-twenty slot on your dart-board nearly every time;  or desire to pursue a handsomely paid career in one form of questionable activity or other (“How’s that lad of yours doing?” Very nicely thanks!”); or (if you’re really sneaky) ‘devote’ yourself to ‘helping others’ – then you will almost certainly need to develop a great deal of ‘heightened self-awareness’, and you’ll also probably need to cart a lot of ‘information’ around with you as well.

And also – and probably more importantly here at least – from this perspective of mine, Eugene Halliday – as far as the rest of us are concerned –  can only ever offer you the fruits of his own Work in the form of an example here – which you may or may not be able to hear, and even if you do, you may or may not decide to act upon.  That is, he cannot, indeed he could not – in principle – do any of this Work for you. All that he can, or could do, is point you in the right direction (if you freely allow him to do so, that is). Which is why I believe – and have ranted on in this blog about at some length – that any attempt to simply appropriate Eugene Halliday’s material (even if one is deluded enough to believe that one is doing so in order to ‘pass it on’ to others) is an endeavor I believe to be based primarily on the acquisition of power – and so is essentially a manifestation of ‘greed’ – that is, its only positive aspect here, is that it provides a perfect example (for those who have the ‘eyes to see’) of ‘the inability to realize a profit, from what was initially imagined was going to be an apparent gain’. So it is then, regrettably, just one of the more obvious negative consequences  – one of the real dangers that is – of choosing to ‘be involved’ here. (See Jacob Boehme for more info re these dangers if you’re interested further).

Eugene Halliday did not practice Yoga, nor did he ever recommend it particularly, at least as far as I have ever been able to discover – and I spent a long time attempting to find out if he ever did – and this would include research by me on this matter that involved asking direct questions on this particular subject (“To your knowledge did Eugene Halliday ever practice anything that any reasonably-minded person would refer to as ‘yoga’?”) to many who knew him personally for decades – including someone who lived with him for over 25 years… And look, if he ever did actually ‘practice yoga’, don’t you think that those to whom this would have been ‘extremely important’ would have mentioned the fact at every available opportunity, as it would have automatically gone a long way to validate their own assumed positions in the ‘spiritual marketplace’ (all that ‘I sat at the feet of’ nonsense)  … “Eugene told me that, when he was doing this particular exercise that I am showing you now, etc ….” for example? ..

He did, however, speak about the particular subject of yoga on numerous occasions (a state of affairs that I believe confused a lot people). But then he also spoke at length, on many occasions, about other ‘esoteric’ subjects, including, for example, ‘Astrology’ and ‘Tarot’. And – where it concerns these two particular subjects – I can tell you that I have also never been able to uncover one single instance, or heard anyone who maintained that they were ‘close to him’ claim, that he ever ‘prepared a natal chart for them’, or the he ‘informed them about the future appearance of a tall dark stranger in their lives’ after gazing theatrically at a couple of  randomly selected cards for a few moments, either…

What he did do however – both publicly and in print – was to recommend any number of contemplative exercises though… But, during the intervening 35-plus years since I came across his material, I have to tell you that (apart from Ken Ratcliffe) I have never really heard anyone earnestly recommend these particular exercises because they found them to be so very useful to themselves – although a couple of those who do claim to be involved here have mentioned them in passing to others. However they have not, at least as far as I’m aware, appeared to have applied themselves to the same task… More significantly for me, no one that I have spoken with this has ever been willing to provide any form of personal account concerning the ‘fruits’ arising from engaging in these particular exercises where it directly concerns their own experiences with them. A situation that I view as distinctly fishy …..I will just add here, that I would be more than happy to share how it was that I found these exercises to be – but only with those who are prepared to do the same.

And just a further note here about my experiential understanding of the function of ‘reflexive self-consciousness’… I have never been able to shake the conviction (for most of the people I have discussed this with anyway) that they imagine ‘reflexive self-consciousness’ is not a perfectly normal attribute that we all possess but that most of the time we freely chose not to use, but rather that it is instead, some weird form of ‘super-power’… And that this completely mistaken view here is, in my opinion, reinforced by Eugene Halliday’s drawing – at the beginning of the ‘hard-copy’ of his essay – of a very nice looking young man with a third eye stuck in the middle of his forehead… Now I think that he probably drew this picture in an attempt to ‘use a sprat to catch a mackerel’; that is, this ‘illustration’ fitted in very nicely with the held commonly views of ‘consciousness’ at the time. But I believe it was a mistake, because it was also a commonly held view at the time (and regrettably still is) that somehow you can have ‘more’ consciousness, or develop a ‘higher form’ of consciousness – which I think is a really dreadful metaphor, and frankly a ridiculous idea.

Reflexive self-consciousness is a tool – so think of it like this if it helps… You have decided to stop using all your hand-saws, chisels, hammers, and hand-drills, and have decided instead that you are going to use your electric ones instead – you always ‘sort of’ knew you had these by the way, but you could never somehow manage to put your hands on them at the right time and then get them out of their boxes… … And although that particular task of your very own is still before you (and is still exactly the same one that it always was) you can now apply yourself far more efficiently to either tackling it (or avoiding it 🙂 …) with your ‘shiny new, and far more efficient tools’ … But if you happen to be traveling in the wrong direction? … Well you now just get to go even further, quicker… and deeper, into the shit… So ‘developing’ your ability here doesn’t mean say that, if you have a damaged leg, you can now magically somehow just ‘fix it’….  Becoming aware of your ability to respond self-reflexively to the situation that you find yourself in from moment to moment will not provide you with a short-cut here at all then, but only with an even greater response-ability.

So reflexive self-consciousness isn’t something that you can learn to do, like ‘meditating’ or ‘waving your arms and legs about, pretending to hit somebody’ – it’s something that all of us can chose to do at every moment – and that some of us (like me) believe has to be ‘done’, as often as possible… So it isn’t something you just are then – with no effort then; it’s something that you have to – by freely choosing to do so – consciously ‘bring to be’ … You can’t ‘learn to do it’ and then ‘it just happens’ because you’ve now ‘expanded your consciousness’ (or some such tripe) and have become a ‘superior and more-evolved being’ or when it happens it’s a ‘peak experience’ – it’s the form of praxis… And all that it really does is inform you correctly…

Thus – in my experience – being reflexively self-conscious ‘in the moment’ is actually a simple thing that really everyone can do, and that requires no special training, or information, or diet, or membership of any particular group or other … It just isn’t very easy… at all!! … Why? … Well … Because you will keep taking your eye off the ball.. 🙂 …

So, like Eugene Halliday then (apparently), you can claim that you never ‘lose’ reflexive self-consciousness even when you’re ill, and you can look the person you’re talking to square in the eye while you’re telling them so – knowing full well how they will take that statement… On the other hand I’m positive that no-one can do it while they’re asleep..

And as for merely reacting? Well I can certainly hear Eugene Halliday doing just that from time to time during his talks…

What actually beggars belief here is that others were quite prepared to make these sorts of claims for him, such as, “Eugene Halliday was completely self-reflexive.” – without having the faintest idea of what it is that they’re talking about.. Like some bizarre ‘out-take’ from Monty Python’s ‘The Life of Brian’..

Finally for this bit. A few questions for you …
1). This world that you find yourself in .. What’s it like for you? …
2). Could the behavior of two people in identical circumstance be observed by a third-party (this might be you) as ‘behaving the same way for all intents and purposes’, even though one of them was reflexively self-consciousness at the time, and the other one wasn’t? … How would you go about justifying your answer here? …
3). Is the Devil reflexively self-conscious? … Why? …

I would say that the answers that provide to these questions will tell you a lot about the subject of that book you might write one day, ‘Me and My Reflexive Self-Consciousness’ … Especially that first question :-)…

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 When you’ve been down one rabbit hole, you’ve been down them all.

Who’s really in control here? .. Who’s doing all this? … None of this could possibly be my fault! … I’m not responsible for any of it!

One of the weirder (and frankly hilarious) beliefs that any number of New Ageists hold is that ‘we mere earthlings’ are all the victims of some particular group of malevolent super-beings (usually one with some outlandish comic-book name or other). And that these ‘super-beings’ are intent on bringing things down here to one form of apocryphal conclusion or other by means of some particular variety of ‘fiendish plan’. A ‘plan’ that is – even as we sleep – in the process of ‘being hatched’.

Further (and here I would argue that we see can a neat demonstration of why it is that these ‘super-being’ couldn’t be all that bright, but seem to be just as dumb as the cranks who are intent on propagating these notions) that this ‘plot’ invariably seems to have been recorded on some version or other of ‘ancient manuscript’.

This ‘evidence’ etc. is then ‘explained’ by a veritable plague of contemporary interpreters, who claim, for one reason or another (and these include having been the victim of an alien abduction – invariably replete with details of a good old-fashioned anal probing; or have visited various other dimensions and nether regions while astral traveling etc) to be ‘in the know’…

Or that this evidence is, more remarkably perhaps, ‘readily available for public viewing’ – always provided that one applies the ‘correct’ interpretation that is…

This ‘evidence’ is very often located at one or more of those carefully manicured ‘archeological sites’ (maintained by either the government of the day, or the local tourist industry) scattered all around the globe, where on payment of the required entrance fee, holiday-makers can gorp at any number of numerous gigantic ancient monuments … For example: the pyramids; ancient temples in the Cambodian jungle; crumbing ‘sacred sites’ on picturesque remote Aegean islands; old-world, and new-world megaliths.

Or – if you’re not into all that old stuff because you like to believe that you’re ‘more up to date’ – the more contemporary ‘crop circle’, ‘ufo’ stuff, or ‘computer simulation’. 

As a consequence of this scenario – and rather obviously, I would claim – we can see that those ‘super-villains’ of theirs (who, it is claimed, have been running things ‘behind the scenes’ for millennia and smart though they are) have never been quite smart enough to get rid of this mountain of damning evidence; although we mere ‘victims’ here seem to have no problem at all in burning down whole libraries of those ‘secret manuscripts’; or of blowing up many of those monuments and sites; or submerging them in order to make ourselves a new reservoir; or covering them over with concrete in order to provide ourselves with a nice new car park – should we decide, on the spur of the moment that is, to do so.

And I will readily admit here that these ‘enlightened’ people are, to a major extent, all reasonably consistent – in that they all seem to be coming from the same place (but then so do STD’s I suppose) – by maintaining that none of these ‘super-visitors’ have ever come here to ‘do any of us any favors’. Their motives apparently were, and still are, always to the profound disadvantage of ‘us hapless earthlings’ who happen to live here – apart from that (inevitable) bunch of slimy collaborators and traitors, who have usually entrenched themselves in one or other of our governments, or are members of the board of some bank, or ‘multi-national’, or other, and that are so necessary in all this in order to assist in (so to speak) ‘moving this plot along’ here.

And if that all sounds like the outline of a possible script for the next Dr Who season? … Well, where exactly do you believe that these ideas originally come from if not ‘folk tales’.

In it’s contemporary version then, these ‘beings’ are inevitably members of that army of ‘Global Multi-National Neo-Fascist-Capitalist Bankers’; ‘The Illuminati’; ‘Shape-Changing Lizards’; Twisted Computer Geniuses; or good old-fashioned ‘Aliens’. And further – at least as I understand it – that the various exotic members of these ‘secret groups’ (who are all somehow ‘running things’, or at least ‘intent on eventually dominating the proceedings’ here) are supposed to be able to recognize one another without any trouble, whenever and wherever they happen to ‘rendezvous’ . That is, they instantly realize – upon meeting up with each other – that they are ‘on the same page’, as it were – without the necessity for engaging in some form of mutual interrogation, or of resorting to the use of some fancy handshake, or whatever.

A group of like minded beings then at the very least you might say – and thus definitely something of an extreme rarity down here then, at least in my book… Because attempting to organize any group of ‘normal’ people exceeding a couple of dozen or so in number down here, is invariably ‘chancing your arm’ – at least as far as my limited experience here goes. Unless, that is, you confine them in some way, by making use of a ‘rule book’, like say twenty-two of them engaging in a game of soccer – but even then it’s easy to see that cheating is the order of the day if it can be got away with …

And even if you do somehow manage to clobber something together so that you do indeed now have your own little ‘band of followers’, it seems to me that one of the essential rules of this particular game, is that you also need to (simultaneously) now clobber together (or at least to point out the existence of) another group of individuals, whose sole aim (it is suggested) is to oppose yours.

This is obviously done – and I do admit that it is an excellent way of going about things here – in order to ‘keep your lot in line’… And if you lack the resources to ‘find’ one of these ‘opposition groups’ that are so necessary to keep ‘your lot’ with their noses to the grindstone here? Well, the answer to that is very simple – you can always simply just ‘make one up’ (scapegoats and infidels are excellent examples here).. An approach that should actually work very effectively for you, because you have already demonstrated that you are very good at preaching to your converted flock in such a way that they believe everything you say. (A wonderful example there of how easy it is to manipulate those who only possess a ‘passive’ language then).

Regrettably though (at least in my somewhat grubby experience) the only significantly large group of beings who appear to be able to ‘self-organize’, without constantly monitoring each other, is that legion of pornography consumers out there, who appear to have been multiplying like rabbits ( 🙂 ) and do not appear to need to cross-monitor each other in order to check if they are keeping ‘abreast’ (pardon the pun there) of that rapid ever-expanding mountain of ‘desirable material’ out there that is being made instantly available to interested parties, on the world-wide-web  ….  A quick smirk – followed by an almost immediate ‘flash’ … (pardon the pun again) … of instant recognition then, you might say.

However, when I attempt to point this out to those who believe all this ‘conspiracy theory’ junk, they either very quickly go quiet and pretend that I didn’t say anything much of relevance or importance here; or they act as if I’m ‘trying to be funny’; or they accuse me of being needlessly hostile to their ideas – by introducing these ‘questionable types’ into, what is for them, a serious subject… 

I believe that what’s going on here is actually far, far, worse than any of these clowns I’ve alluded to above are capable of imagining. And that is, that there is not, and there has never … ever … been, anyone ‘minding the store’… And that it is all, in the end, ‘down to you’…

And what do I think of it all down here? … Well I think it’s perfect! … Exactly how it should be, given the way we have all been behaving here for the past thousands of years: and that there is absolutely nothing whatsoever supernatural about any of all this – at all! … Incomprehensible – at least for the moment  – perhaps…. But ‘spooky’? Definitely not!… We are totally responsible as a species for the mess we’re in, and everyone of us is in some degree complicit in all this… And any real and effective change is – for the time being anyway – next to impossible… There will be ‘good times’ and ‘bad times’ and those who like to imagine they are ‘in charge here’ will take full credit for the former – and simply blame the opposition (‘real’ or imagined) if it’s all just gone ‘tits up’ again.

And if I had to say what it is that I believe is going on down here? .. Well that would be that we are, for the most part, really just making it all up as we go along..

And the real cosmic mystery here for me then?… I would say that this would be that – in spite of all the madness about (and I freely admit that a great deal of it is very entertaining) – I have always had a profound and unshakable belief that, whatever it is that is taking place, it is – indeed – all ‘going somewhere’… But exactly where, I have no idea… So I will confess that I have an unshakable belief in ‘purpose’ then (even if, in the end for the time being at least, it’s only mine)….

But if I were, just for the sake of argument, forced to cautiously admit that there might be some form or other of ‘cosmic purpose’ (and I will tell you right now that this particular idea actually makes no real sense to me if I attempt to deal with it on anything other than a facile level)? … Whatever it is, it will not be that we are all required to jump down yet another one of those frigging rabbit holes – because I can do that already, myself, any damn time I choose. 

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At the risk of stating the obvious – I believe that our most valuable possession is ‘life’ itself. That is – to be clear here – my life belongs to me. It does not then belong to (for example) either ‘God’ or ‘Country’ – although I can decide that it does, for one reason or another.

Everything in my life is ‘contingent upon’; that is – something prior has to happen (in the case of my birth that would obviously be that my parents ‘got together’ some nine months earlier) …Except that is, for my death, which is not ‘contingent upon’ but ‘essential’ – that is, it is ‘inevitable’.

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My experience of others here is that the overwhelming majority of them are hell-bent on living as if this life of theirs belonged to someone, or something else, entirely! .. And that this ‘someone else’ – it seems to me – is, almost invariably, one variety of persona, or mask’  or other that they spend all their time and energy in maintaining; and that they wish they actually were; and are intent on presenting it to others as who it is that they ‘really’ are; . A sort of ‘Disneyland Ideal Character’ you could call it. 

Sadly then, many of them die without ever having really lived at all: without ever having realizing just how amazing it is simply to be here as themselves – warts and all…. And perhaps then, having realized this (rather obvious) fact, to go on to and tackle the task of really becoming a better person in themselves .. to themselves… To develop their latent Self-Reflexive ability then. To nurture their real talent(s) – something that we all possess while we’re here, in one form or other, to some degree. To realize … To become … To develop the ‘promise’ that we have always possessed then.

Some who are getting older here, will confess to you that they have now come to believe that they have wasted a great of their time down here ‘play-acting’ and really intend to, from now on, do ‘something about it’. But they now invariably find that they are continually biting off more than they can chew, because they can’t come to terms with the fact that they have to start this journey on ‘Go’ like everybody else down here does …

And the ‘load’ here – that you’re required to carry?  Well that only really consists in whatever it is that you can (almost) bear – no more and no less. So if you find this burden too light, or too heavy, then ‘you’re doing it wrong’. … Because only when you’re in a state of balance can you then over-balance, and take a step forward here (which is how you actually do walk, in case you didn’t know)… And you are going to need some help, at least, here  – which is why all this other lot are in here with you, cluttering up your personal dressing-room (the one with the ‘star’ on the door).

But it doesn’t really matter when you start; it only matters the degree to which you have knowingly opposed starting to-date – usually by insisting that ‘you’re not quite ready yet, because you’re (fill in the blank)….’. 

Your death then, makes of a life that has been lived in this way, really just (yet) another example of a squandered, or simply wasted, opportunity – and sadly, you will never really have existed – because you were too mean-spirited to let your real authentic self step out of that cage you have build for it and enjoy the sunshine now and again, and so flourish a bit.

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If people knew how many of them I view as not knowing why they’re really here, I think most of them would probably be somewhat amused, because they think I’m a bit of a ‘lad’ anyway… But if, on the other hand they knew just why I thought so, I think they might be very offended… I know that I might if I were them 🙂

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Selections from ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Here’s a couple of my photos for you:

‘Genuine and Authentic’ by Bob Hardy (Diptych)

                                 

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The purpose of a mind is to produce a future

Paul Valéry

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” … (W)ell of course … to us, hallucinations are real…. But … what many of them like to refer to as ‘Schizophrenia’ down here then?  … What exactly is that? …

Well you would, from our viewpoint at least, say something along the lines that this is simply a ‘position’ … taken by certain beings – a position that commands a particular perspective … And by means of which they produce a particular type of individual.. … ‘Them’ – as it were…

(He pauses to listen)… No! … This type of ‘individual’ produces a narrative that is far more ‘hermeneutical’ in character  … A sort of ‘caricature’ of the present … And by ‘present’ here I mean ‘contemporary’ … But a narrative that is … somehow … an acceptable, mainstream, cultural, mythological one .. That manages to ‘resonate’ with other particular beings

Of course, if they manage to do this really well, what they produce can then easily catch the eye of those self-elected ‘gatekeepers’ … those arbiters of ‘good taste’ … Who could very easily ‘upgrade’ this material to a ‘mystical text’ or – at very least – to ‘a work of art’!”

 Fragment from
‘ Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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A perfect example of woolly thinking? … Believing that ‘The lion shall lie down with the lamb’ means the same thing as, ‘The lamb shall lie down with the lion’.

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… That lovely story about the ‘good shepherd’ who goes out searching for a lamb that got lost… Am I the only one that thinks the really important bit of this story is missing? … That bit at the end where it … sort of … goes … “And the shepherd gave thanks!… Because now, come Sunday, he would be able to carry out his plan to string this lamb up by its hind legs; slit its throat to drain its blood; cut it up into pieces; roast it; and then eat it…”  

Or (yet again) have I got that all wrong?


From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Transforming ourselves, rather than simply changing ourselves, is really really very hard Work…

But ‘transformation’ is a state of affairs that can – at least as far as convincing others (particularly when doing so concerns the attempt to present yourself as being some sort of expert in ‘matters mysterious and spooky’) – be relatively easy to fake.

If only because most people have never Worked in their lives, and so don’t really grasp the essential difference between ‘change’ and ‘transformation’…

‘A change taking place’ is something that’s going to happen in various areas of everyone’s life (such as growing older for example) in and of itself, whether they like it or not. So conflating and confusing these two words is a relatively easy to produce in them.

Particularly if you can develop a way of presenting those ‘changes’ (that are – in the main – going to happen anyway) as somehow being ‘transformations’… And the consequence of that for you will be that you now have a little flock of your very own that really does believe that they are, in fact, Working because they have definitely experienced a result as a consequence of your ‘instructions’ here. (“We will learn to control our breathing – which is very difficult – and so become calmer.”) … “It works!!” … Hey presto!! .. Add a few Sanskrit words together with a sprinkling of New Age paraphernalia (get them to buy your books; scented candles; special colored mat; a ‘Save the Warthog’ t-shirt, etc. etc) and you’ve cracked it… You are now ‘The Authority’ here!

NOTE: Nearly all of those that I have discussed ‘transformation’ with, have a great deal of difficulty differentiating this term from ‘change’ – particularly where it concerns their own being (“I can see that I might have changed, but I wouldn’t say I’ve transformed.” is a common comment). And in my experience the most common analogy they use to illuminate ‘transformation’ (in the absence of their own experience of it) is that of the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.
In many parlor games we are given clues, and ‘when the penny drops’ we ‘realize the solution. So – where it concerns these two terms ‘transformation’ and ‘change’; and anthropomorphizing the caterpillar/butterfly analogy, here’s a clue. Try (using active imagination) and verbalize the following:
What do you imagine the butterfly remembers of it’s time as a caterpillar (if anything at all). And does the caterpillar have any ‘ideas’ about its imminent transformation (what, if anything, does it imagine it will be like)?

I believe that it is essential that you come to experience the meanings of these two terms yourself by Working on them. They are two very useful terms that, for me, demonstrate the poverty of using only definitions and etymologies when investigating words, in that you will get something from these two methods but in the end this amounts to very little.

But to become other than – at the moment – who we really are: that is, to develop our real potential, we must essentially, and initially, develop an awareness of who, and what, we are/were… in the first place!

Unfortunately, most of the people that I have met who appear to be the most desperate for some form of ‘change’ in their lives appear, regrettably, to possess little ability to even attempt this essential self-reflection (which is not the same thing as reflexive self-consciousness, by the way) .

If, like me, you’re ‘getting on in years’, you might find it useful to consider why all that studying you did earlier on in your life has been forgotten. And go on to realize that through all that striving of yours to ‘get somewhere’, you have (in a very real sense) learnt either nothing or, at most, very little… … I, for one, find the experience of this particular state of affairs in myself fascinating…But it doesn’t trouble me that much at all now, if it ever did – because frankly I don’t think it’s very important. What is far more important to me is that, through it all, I still have a profound sense of continuity; that I am essentially the same being I was when I was young, but that it was layered over, and from time to time almost obscured, by my various interacting with ‘out there’.

(Incidentally, does anyone who listened to Eugene Halliday believe that, if he were still alive, he would still be ‘cracking out the wisdom’ at 104. … … Perhaps dwelling on that might get you to see what I mean).

To continue here … Many are so dissatisfied with who they are, and still have no real idea that in order to change they must start with this ‘who they are’. Beings like this are at their most vulnerable and can very easily become the prey of those who are desperate for some sort of validation – this later group however being merely another manifestation  of  ‘not knowing’ but with the added problem for others, who get caught up in their net, that they are desperate to involving anyone they can involve in their own thrashings about… However it is possible that they can turn the light on for others, who will then experience a sudden realization as to what it is that is really going on.

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Here’s a couple of my  photos that I used to helped me to actively substantiate (or ‘ground’, if you prefer) the terms ‘Change’ and ‘Transformation’.

‘Change and Transformation’ by Bob Hardy (Diptych).

                                         

There is a great deal of ‘over-lap’ for me in the use of these two terms. These two central images that I carry around though (‘ in my mind’ as it were) help to get me to the correct ‘area’, or the ‘right starting place’, in order to begin contemplating some aspect or other of one, or both, of these terms.

I begin then  … by reminding myself here, something like this,

“Change …That’s like when an actor gets made up in that whirling (not really formed, but still circumscribed) dressing room – and emerges as ‘Richard III’ on Monday, and as ‘Obone kanobe’ on Tuesday etc. … … … ‘Transformation’ … Well that’s like ‘creating a unique new emergent that rises up out of the same old stuff ‘ …”

Not Shakespeare exactly, I know, but I find that I can now move on from here with relative ease … At least to begin with 🙂 …

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The manner in which I act. How it is that I proceed … Those concepts, ideas, desires, impulses that are at the root of determining what it is that I will do next, can all be more clearly understood; can reveal more of their essential nature, when Work is done with the words  ‘authority’; ‘inertia’; ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’ (a word closely connected to ‘authority’) such that they become active.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Finally – and there’s no need to read it if you don’t feel like it – here’s another poem…

WT… ? (2)
‘Mind How You Go!’

by Bob Hardy


So … Anyway
This so-called life of yours

That’s the one you imagine
You’ve really lived

You do know that it wasn’t a rehearsal
For some other life
… Later

Don’t you?

So … Anyway
Was the you
That you were
When you were born
The you
That actually went on
To live this life of yours
Then?

Or
At some point
Did you feel
That you didn’t like that one
And so you decided
That you were going
To continue on here
By performing in another life
Instead?

Live a better one
In its place!
… As it were

And so
You Acted out the
you
That you believed
You would rather be

That is
The one you now imagined
You loved better
Instead


But

Perhaps now
You’re beginning to suspect
That actually
And as a consequence
You never really did
Much living at all

In the end

So what’s next then?

…For whoever it is
You’ve been here
Up to now

Well …

Actually

Nothing much really

At least as far as you’re concerned

You’re going to die

And that’s about it for you
And also
For every one of those others
Who were hanging out
In there

Because
That’s how it really works

And
You’ve always
Somehow
Suspected that
… Haven’t you?

But
Even so
You still
Went on
To decide
That if you kept you’re head down
While you were here

Then
You might somehow
Get away
With it all

How
Ever
Finally
You have been forced to realize
You don’t ever really
Get away with anything
In the end. 

Because
When all is said and done
That is what any future of Yours
Was alway for

It’s where
Whoever you were
When you got here 

Was always going
To be

But anyway …

And by all means
At your disposal

Carry on
If you wish

Because you are
Naturally free

To make every effort
In order to
Ensure that
In the mean-time

You do
In
Deed
Have a nice day

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Bob Hardy
Chezard, Switzerland

6th July, 2017

 

 

All things are modalities or precipitations of the Infinite Sentient Power which is the Godhead.

Eugene Halliday – Essays on God

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NOTE: ‘Godhead’. Translated from Greek -‘qeoths’ – ‘divine nature’ or ‘the quality of being a God’.

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Simply we may de­fine Love as the will to work for the optimal dev­elopement of the potentialities of being.

Eugene Halliday – Essays on God

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When love retreats, power advances.

Carl Gustav Jung

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All that there is is Sentient Power; and this Sentient Power is continually Working for the development of the potentialities of its being.

We are circumscribed modalities of this Sentient Power.

We are sentient beings then, and we claim to possess ‘consciousness’.

If we will to develop this conscious ability such that we can use it to function reflexively, we may ‘join in’ with this act of Working, and thus – as it were – ‘lend a hand’ here, in order to develop these potentialities.

If we will to do this Work, then we will ‘realize a profit’ in doing so.

If we will not to do this Work, Work will still be going on within us, but obviously it will not be done by us; and any development of those potentialities that do happen to take place under these circumstance will proceed at a slower pace. Far more importantly though, any profit arising as a consequence of any development here will not be-long to us… A state of affairs that we might like to think about if we suspect there might be something to the idea that there is an ‘accounting’, or ‘final judgment’ that takes place just after we pop our clogs … 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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According to those who claimed to have known Eugene Halliday ‘early on’ (and the two people with whom I spoke to at length about this period would be Donald Lord who, during a recorded interview that I conducted with him told me, “I remember exactly when I met Eugene. It was just before his 33rd birthday.” – which would be in 1944 then; and Ken Ratcliffe, who met him after the War, and who related numerous stories, about their time together up until the mid-1960’s, to me) Eugene Halliday’s earliest published work would seem to be ‘Defense of the Devil’ – a copy of which is freely available for downloading from Josh’s site here:  http://www.eugene-halliday.net

‘Defense of the Devil’ does not seem, to me, to place the concept  ‘All that there is, is Absolute Sentient Power’, center stage. At least in the sense that it constitutes a ‘governing concept’. However, the evidence that Eugene Halliday’s later went on to ‘involve’ the use of his term ‘Sentient Power’ as a ‘governing concept’ can, I believe, be clearly appreciated in most of his subsequent written Work.

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I would just like to add a word of advice here about Eugene Halliday’s frequent use of the terms ‘Laws’ and ‘Rules’ in many of his texts. Whether or not you accept these claims of his, and why you might chose to do so, is entirely up to you. I simply want to say here that, in my opinion, should you actively decide to engage with these texts of his, it would be a good idea if first of all you did a little Work on your understanding and use of both ‘deductive’ and ‘inductive’ reasoning.

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So! … What is that question? … Then!

Well I would say that there are an endless number of questions that revolve around my particular governing concept – ‘All there is is Sentient Power’ – and that all I can really do here is supply you with a couple of examples, and hope  that you get the general idea.

  1. If all there is is Sentient Power, why did I wake up feeling grumpy this morning, if I felt OK last night just before I went to sleep?
  2. If all there is is Sentient Power, and I see a brick on the floor in front of me and say something to myself like, “That brick right there is a complete object ‘in itself’ .. And so it’s actually an example then of ‘circumscribed sentient power’ … What happens to the sentient power if I hit the brick with a hammer, so that there are now two separate objects that I refer to as ‘two half-bricks’ … Are there in fact now two circumscribed objects instead of one? Or is it just all about the way I chose to see them? … Is there some sort of weird reproductive process going on here? Does the sentience of the two new half-brick bits somehow ‘remember’ that they was once a single brick ? What’s going on here, and how does it work?
  3. If all there is is Sentient Power, what is my temporary forgetfulness all about?
  4. If all there is is Sentient Power, how do I explain my feelings of, say, ‘disgust’?

I don’t happen to think that these questions I have asked myself (or indeed any question that I could ask myself which begins “If all there is is Sentient Power…”) are trivial…ever! … If only because one of the answers to these questions might seem to refute my governing concept; or that, no matter how hard I tried, I might simply just be incapable of  answering it…

(And just so you know, I have actually Worked on the answers to the above four questions 🙂 …)

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The initial impression that I gained, particularly where it concerned Eugene Halliday’s written material, was that it was incredibly rich in the range of subjects that it attempted to ‘take in’. And also – and more importantly for me – Eugene Halliday seemed to be able to ‘link it all together’, or ‘connect it all up’, in what seemed to me to be a very straightforward way – although at that time I had no real ideas as to why it did so, but only the firm conviction that, from his standpoint at least, it did.

When I revisited this material, and began to subject it to more scrutiny, there were a number of directions taken, or points made, by Eugene Halliday, that I found I could not go along with. But this only served to engage me even more with his Work, because I now had to spend a great deal of time contemplating why it was that I didn’t agree with him, or why I was uneasy about something that he had written.

My, shall we call it, ‘confrontational interaction’ here, with some aspect or other of Eugene Halliday’s material in no way diminishes my respect for him. In fact I believe this was actually one of the reasons why he produced it.

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If you’re looking for questions that involve a governing concept such as ‘All that there is is Sentient Power’ then I can suggest one of the methods that I came to use. Which was to ask questions that began, “If all that there is is Sentient Power, what is it doing here when I (…. … )?”  And then to fill in the blank here with my response(s) to a): whatever news source(s) I happened to have reacted to, or b): whatever form of leisure activity I was engaging in, such as, for example, watching movies, TV shows, or even documentaries, or c): my immersion (my identification with) characters  in any novel that I happened to be reading… So no questions here about any obvious ‘creative activity’ of mine then… At least not to begin with.

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Finally here, I would like to suggest that you read the following essays by Eugene Halliday. Because, if you do, I believe there would then exist a strong possibility that you will experience what it is that I’m trying to convey here for yourself.

Words of Power by Eugene Halliday

The Structure Of The Psyche by Eugene Halliday

The Role of the Unconscious in Religion and Art by Eugene Halliday

The Pursuit of Power by Eugene Halliday

The Psychogram by Eugene Halliday

Psychotherapy Part 1 by Eugene Halliday

Notes On Engram Work by Eugene Halliday

IHS – Original pamphlet plus Meditation guide by Eugene Halliday

Essays by Eugene Halliday from the Cavendish Magazine and Healing Quarterly 1956 – 60

And finally, a text by Eugene Halliday, together with an audio-file of  Ken Ratcliffe reading it.

The Biofield by Eugene Halliday

Ken Ratcliffe’s reading of ‘The Biofield’ by Eugene Halliday

 

To be continued….

Bob Hardy
Portland, Oregon, USA

16th March, 2017

 

 

 

What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Christopher Hitchens

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I thought I might begin this post with a poem … for a change 🙂

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WT…..?

by Bob Hardy

God has never
God does not
And God will never

Do requests

 

God has never
God does not
And God will never

Demand that you do stuff

 

God does not want

Any of your money

 

God does not require

Elected morsels of your flesh

 

But if
However

From time to time
You believe that you must

                      (And if you enjoy talking to yourself)

Then the occasional
Heart-felt “Thank you!”

Is more than sufficient here

 

You see

God just is

 

Further
More

And simply put

Everything happening

That really matters
In all of this

Is actually
Up to you

All of the time

 

And that’s how bad
Things really are

Down here

I’m afraid.

 

Have a nice day.

 

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‘God’ is most definitely not ‘Absolute Sentient Power’… Regrettably though, it seems to me that ‘Absolute Sentient Power’ is what the vast majority of ‘religious folk’ down here very quickly end up worshiping.  

 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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This post was written in response to an email I received a short time after I posted the previous one, from someone with whom I have been discussing – for some considerable time now – various ‘matters arising’ from my efforts here in this blog.

And because of the nature of this blog – in which I post (for the greater part at least) about my relationship to a number of particular concepts contained in Eugene Halliday’s material that have been of major importance to me – I have also included in my response here a considerable amount of extra material that I believe to be connected in one way or another with Eugene Halliday’s approach to these particular matters. Material that I probably would not have included (at least in the detailed manner in which I have attempted to do so here) in any personal reply to this email.

This might also now be a good time here to clarify my present relationship to Eugene Halliday’s material, and tell you that for some considerable time now I rarely listen to, or read, any of the material that is contained in the  ‘Eugene Halliday Archive’. This material was however, something that I did focus upon, but not exclusively, for many years … I mention this because some readers might have come to believe otherwise, for the obvious reason that  – when all is said and done – the title of this blog is, ‘Inside The Eugene Halliday Archive’!

I have also attempted to make it unequivocally clear to the reader here, throughout these posts of mine, that while I have a great deal of respect for all of Eugene Halliday’s material, the number of concepts of his that I have actually attempted to Work with are relatively few – at least to the degree that I have come to feel competent enough to talk about them from my own perspective.

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For reasons that I hope will eventually become clear, I have decided to begin here with what was originally intended to be the second half of this post, and immediately followed that by what was originally the first half….

If it helps

         …..think of this post

                      ……something likebob-urobrous

this …….                        .

 

++++++++++++++++

… I believe at this point that it would be a good idea if I provided you with at least some details from an actual, real, concrete example from my own particular experiences of Working… That is, an example of how a particular situation might present itself to me as one with which I should/could Work… And at the same time, also elaborate upon the sorts of things that I ‘bring to the table’, in order to help me further here.

NOTE: I don’t believe it’s possible to Work all the time … continuously…

But as to ‘continuously working on being able to Work’? – Well, I’m fine with that.

Maybe this might help here… You are not ‘doing’ breathing all the time. Breathing is simply taking place. And although you might decide to focus on your breathing in order to control it in some way, and then claim that you are now ‘Breathing’, with a capital ‘B’ (and perhaps you actually become very good at doing so), there’s that moment before you decided to control your breathing in this particular way when, logically, you obviously couldn’t have been. Which is when you were not ‘Breathing’ then, but were merely ‘breathing’ (with a small ‘b’)…

Thus my claim to be ‘Working’, implies that there are times when I am not Working, but that I am only (perhaps) ‘working’…

So, ‘Working; is a ‘willed act’ for me then. That is, it is primarily an activity that I have to engage in; that I have to do… This is because my natural response to anything at all is normally only ever to ‘react’ to it. And even if this reaction of mine really ‘does the business’ and is ‘successful’, it is still only ever a reaction… Just as training oneself not to ‘respond’ (by practicing some form of, say, ‘calming’ exercise) to a particular range of stimulus/situations is also, in the end, still just a reaction. However, we could in this case perhaps refer to this reaction as a ‘conditioned response’ – if that makes you feel any better… (Eugene Halliday had quite a bit to say about these sorts of responses by the way, if you’re interested). Regrettably however, as I understand it, developing techniques like this has got very little to do with Working – although they might help to keep you out of the pub, or to mediate a ‘panic attack’.

To Work, I must reflect, which in my case is always (that is, in every single instance) only something that I can only ever freely will to do…  It takes effort on my part, and so it is never just going to ‘happen’ then… At least for me I know that it isn’t.

An essential word that I had to Work on initially (to activate) here, was ‘transformation’, and not ‘controlling’, or ‘banishing’ or ‘healing’.. or ‘letting’… And in order to make any practical attempt at this, I first of all needed to create (and then ‘absorb’) a ‘system’ so that the energy tied up in any (in the moment) disagreeable state of say, worry, or panic, or depression, was somehow channelled into something that I wanted it to do (which is a completely different solution for me than the one I normally use in order to simply ‘get rid’ of some mood or other that I find myself in, so that I can then go back to grinning inanely)… I also find it very difficult to do, and I fail at it far more often than I succeed; it can also become extremely complicated very quickly; and it will more than likely ‘fight back’ in any way that it can in order to ‘remain in being’ (which is a very Eugene Halliday way of putting it … 🙂 ..). Funnily enough, the allegorical images contained in many Alchemical texts serve to illustrate this process remarkably well for me (but not however the texts that they accompany – at least to anything like the same degree that these images do).

So, no sitting still and just letting the mind become a mirror for me – if for no other reason than I have never found any value whatsoever here in attempting to doing so …  Directing my own thought processes though? Very useful indeed! … But it took me ages to develop any effective technique, and, even so, I find that it always requires a great deal of energy anyway – at least if I’m attempting to clarify some matter or other that I find extremely complex… But, happily for me, I also have very little problem in temporarily shutting this process down now if I chose to do so, and then coming back again to continue Working when I feel recharged…

Anyway, my example here below will, I hope, provide you with at least some concrete information re how I go about Working; my practical involvement with concepts of Eugene Halliday’s, such as ‘system’ and ‘governing concept’; and also how this active involvement differs significantly from that of my merely reacting passively to situations that I happen to have ‘collided’ with during the course of any one particular day, and have perhaps gone on to deal with in some way or other …. or not.

… So this is how I Work then … Regrettably for me, as I have already pointed out here, I have been unable to locate anyone else who appears to have been involving themselves with Eugene Halliday’s concepts in remotely the same way that I do. And also, as I say, there’s always the distinct possibility that the manner in which I have been going about things here is just plain wrong.

I’ll try to describe at least the outline of what it is that I do here in such a way that you could have a go at this example yourself if you wanted to (but in your own particular way of course)… And just quickly add, that if you do give it a shot, I would be really interested to hear how you got on 🙂 .

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OK then… Here we go …

At some point in my life I realized that the emotional, cognitive, and physical aspects of the state that I had been passively experiencing during any dreaming that had taking place immediately prior to my waking up, was very largely conditioning (was directly responsible for) the state in which I found myself to be in immediately upon my waking up – usually with any emotional aspect that happened to be present in that dreaming state now predominating.

And at this same point in my life (so, not before) I also realized that the particular emotional state that I found myself in immediately upon waking here (determined, as I now realized, by my passive emotional state during that pre-waking dream period) was pretty much pre-determining not only both the focus and trajectory of any thoughts that I might subsequently be having; but also my ‘physical demeanor’ (my breathing rate and, say, degree of muscular tension), at least for a considerable period after waking up…

And further, troublingly, I suspected that this state of affairs might actually continue on for the whole day, because of some sort of ‘knock-on’ effect! …

NOTE: Something that I later found out – from conducting some research in this area – was that many an educated Roman actually believed this to be the case. So much so, that if they’d had a ‘lousy night’, then they would often delay important decisions, or even remain indoors, for the remainder of their waking day.

Believe it or not, for the very long time prior to this point in my life, I had simply not realized that these two situations (dreaming and waking) were intimately connected in this way. Although when I did do so, it seemed blindingly obvious …

“Hey! The reason why I was all tense and anxious when I just got up this morning was because of that scary dream I’d just been having about me and that shark.”; “Hey! The reason why I was all jumpy, irritated, and frustrated when I got up this morning was because of that dream I just had where I couldn’t get out of that maize for what seemed like a thousand years.”; “Hey! The reason why I was so very relaxed and pleasantly disposed when I got up this morning was because of that dream I’d just had where I was wandering about in that beautiful garden.” etc. etc. etc.” ..

This state of affairs obviously must have happened to me on countless mornings before this, but – up until that particular morning – it just hadn’t ‘registered’ with me.

That is, had you asked me the following question ‘way back’,  “Does the dream that you have just had prior to waking, condition the way you feel when you get up?” (or something along those lines), I would have said, “Yes, now I come to think about it, of course it probably does!” But I did not then go on to factor-in the significance, or deliberate upon the effect, of what it was that this extremely personal (unique to me) experience might actually be about. In fact you might say that it would continue to mean very little to me, until it had become a ‘real experience’ for me.

I’m saying here then that, although I might obviously have been able to talk about these facts – that is, discuss them (perhaps even in great detail) – this does not necessarily mean that ‘the penny had dropped’ … at all! … In fact I could just as easily discuss these ‘events’ as if they were something that had only ever happened to you, or to people ‘in general’,  but had never actually happened to me  – because, say, I happen to be one of those people who insist that they, “…Know it’s hard to believe, but I never dream! At least I’ve never been able to remember that I have!” – However I would still find it relatively easy to join-in with some form of discussion here, and perhaps to even add my own two-penny-worth, by suggesting stuff like, “Well, that does sound extraordinary! But I think that what this ‘nocturnal adventure’ of yours might actually mean, is that you might be … etc. etc.”.

To posses any meaning then, there must be a conscious self-reflexive awareness that this event has happened ‘in the now’. (Although I believe that it is possible for the ‘meaning’ of these experiences to come to you, at any time, like a ‘bolt out of the blue’… However, you can’t make this ‘bolt’ happen by any act of will (at least I can’t) – so I’d say it’s best not to hold your breath here)…

To put this another way – the word ‘realize’ and also ‘in the now’ are the important ones here, and not ‘believed’, or ‘understood’, or ‘thought’ or ‘felt’, or ‘elaborated upon in great depth’ or some other word(s) like that…

Can you appreciate the differences for me, in these words here?

Only because of this ‘realization’ then, would I claim that this situation was now a ‘real’ one for me….

As I say though, I could, of course, also claim to ‘believe’, ‘understand’, ‘think’, ‘feel about’, etc., this situation, but none of these words convey (necessarily) a ‘realization’.

And deciding what word (in this particular case ‘realize’) is appropriate here, is, I believe, an example of just how particular you have to be if you are attempting to illuminate your actual experiences to yourself – never mind explaining these experiences to someone else! But, even so – and perhaps even more importantly – those that you do choose to speak about these matters with will also have to ‘have the ‘ears to hear’ you, in order to ‘get’ what you’re saying…to begin with! …

So then, in order for this event to come to mean anything (by perhaps only implying that there might be an interesting connection between my waking dream and awakened state if I chose to focus on it), it had to become real for me, in that I had to have realized the truth of this in a particular, actual, active (not passive) experience. In this particular case then, one particular morning the ‘penny dropped’. And as a consequence, I was then filled with the energy necessary to pursue the matter. Or to use my metaphor of a ‘journey’ here – my experience of this (recalled) event was now perceived by me to be emanating from a particular, interesting direction; and that attempting to ‘move towards it’ in order to examine it further (and maybe going on to move past it and continue on in the same direction) was now experienced by me as a ‘goal’ … To put it in Eugene Halliday’s terms perhaps – My ‘will had now been exalted’ here by this realization … Such that I was now eager to ‘get there’ and ‘also perhaps do a spot of exploring when I did so’.

If you’re OK with all that… Then go on to this next bit…

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It’s very important to have some way of representing Work to yourself in your own particular way.

NOTE: Traditionally, at least for Europeans with my particular cultural background, this ‘representing’ – in it’s textual form at least – would include allegories such as: passing through a difficult to negotiate gate; sticking to a particular route; toiling in the fields in the heat of the mid-day sun; reaping and sowing; separating the wheat from the chaff before consigning the latter to the fire; ‘realizing a profit’; appreciating the dangers of foolish, wasteful, behavior’, etc. etc.

Where it concerns my ‘journey then, this would include: balancing and stumbling; rate of progress; degree of difficulty; fatigue; terrain; others here; losing my way, etc. etc…  I will then incorporate these into narratives, by making use of my active imagination.

Because of ‘the way I’m made’ (as my mum liked to put it), before I was actually able to spend time applying myself to any one, particular ‘Work activity’ – like investigating that dream/waking thing (an activity that I wasn’t too bothered about accomplishing actually, once I’d made up my mind to do it) – someone like me here in this situation has, first of all, to find some way of understanding, in its broadest sense – the ‘What’ of Work … As in, “How does it differ from all the other things that I do: and what then, am I doing when I’m not Working?” … “What is the over-all nature (the major features as it were) of Work?” … “Is it special somehow?”…“What sorts of things are supposed to happen as a consequence?” etc. etc… Because – for all I knew – it might be that I had actually already been Working ‘all along’ anyway, but I just didn’t know it…

This should explain to you why it was not so much what Eugene Halliday said that I was primarily interested in (indeed much of what he did say was of little value to me in the end because I couldn’t use it), but rather, the ‘manner of his saying what he said’, as it were.  That is – how it came about that he was able to say what he said in the way that he said it – and so then, what it was that he was actually doing (and not simply what he was talking, or writing, about).

Anyway I eventually came to appreciate that I best understood what Work was – in this sense at least – by making allegorical use of that ‘Journey’.

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I believe that the most important function of beings such as Eugene Halliday is to help others to make a start at Working – always providing of course that these others ‘have the ears’ to hear him, in the first place… And I also believe that this was Eugene Halliday’s sole, affirmed, intention… That is, simply to help others to ‘wake’ up, if he could (See his very early essay ‘The Defense of the Devil’ for more on this).

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Why must I first ‘wake-up’ in order to Work? Because it is the essential initial state that must immediately precede any actual realization of why it is that I’m here; and that in order to embark on my ‘journey’ I can only start doing so from exactly where I am at that time, as opposed to where it is that I would like to be, or – more dangerously perhaps – where it is that I am pretending to everyone else (including myself)  that I am…

So I have to first of all realize then, where I actually ‘am’ …’in the now’ … I have to ‘wake-up’ then.

Just figuring this out properly, involved me in a process that actually took me decades to sort out … And even when I had done so, I knew that this did not guarantee that I would ever actually, take that first step. But, on the positive side I did manage to activate words such as ‘dither’..

……… Dither …… dither.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Anyway … … To examine further what I now believed was ‘going on’ with this dreaming/waking thing I, first of all, had to develop the ability to do this examining immediately upon waking up. Because even those major features of these dreams would, more often than not, rapidly fade from memory in a matter of seconds.

But the ability to engage here immediately on waking up was not an easy one for me to develop. In fact I would, more often than not, simply not remember to do so until it was far to late, and then I would usually only be able to recall fragments of these dreams.

However, this was enough to keep me at it, and so that’s what I did until I could manage to do so properly. I improved gradually by practicing – so there’s nothing mystical going on here then!

NOTE: Incidentally, now that I can do it, I often don’t (!) … However if I do ‘intuit’ that something of value has taken place here – something I need to Work on that is – then I will.

This is because Working on these dreams requires a great deal of efficiently directed effort (and time) on my part. And I am aware that, being circumscribed, I only ever have this energy in finite supply – although, by ingesting food I can, to some extent at least, restore it; or I can free up – and thus release energy – that is tied up either in previously established patterns of behavior, or in (and from a pronounced Jungian perspective) what I refer to as, ‘complexes’.

So not wasting, but rather developing, any ‘talent’ that you might have here is supremely important… You might almost say that it’s a ‘Commandment’ 🙂

And – very important to bear in mind here and, quoting a proverb that Eugene Halliday like to make frequent use of – you’ll get ‘Nothing for nothing, and very little for a half-penny’… So be prepared!

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Constructing ‘reasons’ as to why it is that you shouldn’t begin Working ‘just yet’ though (although you don’t actually tell yourself that directly of course) is the defining characteristic (and indeed the only really important meaning for me) of that term ‘inertia’ – at least in the active sense that Eugene Halliday used the word.

And so ‘intertic’, or ‘engramic patterns of behavior’ if you like, are not simply some problem or other that you’ve decided (or been persuaded) that you’ve ‘got’ (actually of course it’s more the case that it’s ‘got’ you)… Like, for example, always mechanically answering to the name that your parents gave you at birth … or something like that…This was just Eugene Halliday’s way of explaining ‘inertia’ to the curious idiot – a way of pointing them gently in the right direction – should they wish later to chose to move forward with this idea… Actually the example he often gave of the patterning of the behavior of children by adults (a state of affairs that he invariably painted in a negative light – which could tell you a great deal more about him than he might have suspected actually, particularly as he was childless) supplies far more interesting examples of positive self-patterning behavior for me… For example, any decent parent can tell you that their children will often engage in their own particular endless repetitious behavior with obvious pleasure; and anyone who has had to read the same bed-time story night after night to their own children can also tell you about repetition – particularly if you try to change the story in some way because you have formulated no sensible reason as to why it is that they should want you to engage in this behaviour, and believe that in making these changes you are making the story more ‘interesting’ for them. (Clue: Try imagining that you are living in an almost completely unpredictable environment for most of the time, like them).

Eugene Halliday would often give members of his ‘flock’ ‘special names’ (an alarming number of which, it seemed to me, started with the letter ‘Z’); or he would get them to throw the letter ‘h’ into their already existing name (‘Ken’ became ‘Khen’ for example – which always bothered me because the name Kenneth already had the letter ‘h’ in it – So would it now be ‘Khenneth’? … Which I thought was a bit daft, – Baptismal and Abramic precedents not withstanding here of course. But even so, I thought this was all a bit hubristic and contrived myself, even for the leafy suburbs of South Cheshire. 🙂 ..)

Anyway, these were situations which, in my opinion, should have provided those involved here with an excellent and controlled opportunity to clearly see how this new name almost immediately began to accrue to itself any number of ‘new’ (and often the same old) inertic patterns of behavior. Tragically for most here though – at least as I saw it – these new patterns of behavior were often far more seductive in quality than their old ones, because it was imagined that these particular ‘new’ ones (the word ‘new’ merely means ‘most recent’ by the way) were connected to something ‘special’ that they were ‘doing with Eugene’, and so, these new patterns of behavior were ‘OK’ habits then … Which is obviously hopelessly wrong – because, of course, they’re just another set of habits… And, even worse, they also trapped those who had willingly chosen to become involved here in a very seductive ‘Tacit Conspiracy’ – often for decades.

The less attractive aspect of engaging in the process of establishing behavioral patterns of dependency in others (as you will probably know) is referred to as ‘grooming’. This is an essential technique in the creation of hierarchies in any number of extremely well documented cults, and often has tragic consequences… (By the way, the OED definitions, and also the etymological roots, of the words ‘cult’ and ‘culture’ are well worth investigating).

It is most important for you to bear in mind here, that most people actually can’t wait to be presented with, or go on to develop, ‘new’ habits. That way they can still act mechanically, but might now be able to present themselves as ‘in the know’ one way or another, and so avoid doing any real Work… ‘Going straight from siting at the foot of the teacher into the teacher’s chair’ .. If you see what I mean.

Developing a technique that requires you to be forever ‘searching for the truth’ is another example of a useful habit here. This is a really efficient way of staying where you are, exactly where you’ve always been, and actually requires very little real effort… You just have to continually find yourself some question or other  (it’s not really important what it actually is), which functions in such a way that you can justify the fact that you never actually commit to anything that might move you out of your comfort zone, or (more importantly for most) might damage that image of yourself that you’ve spent so much time and effort constructing.

‘Stage two’ here then, is believing that, in order to move on, ‘good habits’ should be ‘developed’. These are then often presented to others using an attractive and fashionable label… As in, “I’ve started practicing that new (fill in the blank) now! It’s really interesting and, you know, (smile) it has really helps me with that (fill in the blank) problem I was having  … And I have to say say that I now feel so much better about myself!” etc.  … This, in my experience, is where the overwhelming majority of those who are ‘looking for answers here’ (and there are loads of them about) are to be found…

Problematically, it now becomes even more difficult (next to impossible might be better) to get them to look at the fact that everything they needed to move forward they already had, and was actually right their under their noses here, to begin with… Because they have convinced themselves that what is wrong ‘here’ (them) is in fact something which is wrong ‘there’ – as in ‘the world… out there’. Which they now decide that they are going to try to do ‘something about’ – even if it’s ‘only ‘in a small way’. And so they now spend the overwhelming majority of their time learning about, or learning to do, ‘new stuff’ so that they can ‘do something useful’ and ‘help’ the rest of us.. Isn’t that a wonderful excuse for not attending to their own development? If it wasn’t for the fact that many here will actually believe this is what they’re really doing now, anyway!

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To move on here …

It’s very important now for you to appreciate that I am not claiming my realization re this dreaming/waking thing here was an example of me Working – because it wasn’t.

It was only the point at which – and in this particular instance only – I had the opportunity to begin Working (I was ‘at the gate’ so to speak). And I would add here that this was only because I had been, in some way (and not necessarily as a consequence of my own deliberations) ‘prepared’, and was thus potentially able to begin Working here…

So then, this ‘being prepared’ is also an essential part of this whole Working process for me. It’s something like having the experience that events have ‘conspired’, or ‘constellated’, in order to get me to this point… Again, an allegory in the West here would be that of ‘The ground in this particular field has been tilled, and so was now ready for the seed’…

So this realization then, is only the ‘necessary prelude to being able to Work’… And only to Work .. here .. now.

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Having had a ‘realization’ then – and as a consequence – I need to construct a ‘system’, in order to actually do any Work here.

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(A large spotlight quickly fades up, and we can see him standing center stage, dressed rather like an Oxbridge Don, complete with black gown. However he is sporting a slightly too large floppy white bow-tie over a check-shirt, and is wearing a pair of ‘John Lennon’ spectacles . The rest of the stage is in darkness.

We see that he is holding a piece of paper in each hand, which he then raises just above his head

Before he addresses his audience directly, he steps confidently forward, slapping one piece of paper on top of the other with an exaggerated theatrical flourish. The spotlight follows him, as we first of all overhear him making a short comment quietly to himself).

“You know… I really do like this little piece…I think I’ll call it … 

(He has now reached the front-center of the stage. He clears his throat in an exaggerated theatrical manner, and proclaims confidently, and loudly, to his audience). 

“.. ‘Snakey Stuff’!! 

(He grins broadly before beginning to read. The spot has been tightened up so that we now only see the top half of his body.. As he reads, he starts moving slowly, stage left. At the end of this short piece, as he utters the last word and returns to the front center of the stage, it is important that the audience realize that he has actually completed a perfect circle). 

And…without data. That is to say, without developing your very own ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ … Can you appreciate that the very best that you will ever contribute to any subject is simply your facile, uninformed opinion?

(He pauses, looks up, and peers out at his audience. Before continuing on).

And further, that without some sort of ‘Conceptual Framework’ – even if you do go on to develop your own ‘Scheme of Inquiry’, and so then, manage to accrue … and perhaps bother to commit to memory … all sorts of interesting ‘smatterings of knowledge’… The best that you will only ever be able to contribute to any subject, will be some manner of… smart-assed … clever … reaction to it … No matter how proficient that you might now believe yourself to be, at stringing words together.

 (He pauses again, and looks up, peering out once again at his audience, before continuing on).

This ‘Conceptual Apparatus’? … This ‘Conceptual Framework’… that you must fashion for yourself ?..

(He looks up from his paper, and peers over his glasses – which are parked on the end of his nose – and says conspiratorially to the audience in a slightly quieter voice)

I often think of this ‘Conceptual Framework’ as my very own ‘mirror’… But others find this metaphor very confusing and imagine that it means I have to remain very still in order to peer into it and …hopefully …’see stuff’!  … So to them it’s not like I’m shaving and using a very sharp cut-throat razor… or driving around in rush-hour traffic glancing in my rear-view mirror then! .. Which is actually more like what goes on! (He grins broadly, before continuing his reading in a louder voice)

Anyway! It is the one essential tool in your armory that you must construct for yourself… (He says in a slightly louder voice) … and only you can actually construct it! (He pauses again and lowers his voice a little before continuing) … if you’re ever going to go on and make any real use at all, of that ‘reflexive’ ability of  yours!

(He pauses again, looking up over his glasses again, and then continues reading – his voice rising slightly for the next sentence). 

And if you haven’t constructed this ‘Conceptual Framework’  – never mind then going on to Work with it; to add to it; to ‘polish it’; to refine it … as it were? (He looks up over his glasses again, and then continues on in a slightly lower voice) Then although your utterances on any particular subject may indeed now be the result of your …perhaps considerable … inquiries here (He pauses) … Due to that ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ of yours that I just mentioned before, do you see? (He pauses again and looks around before continuing on)… It will, at best, still only ever constitute your reaction here, even if it is now an informed one! And no matter how reasonable it might seem to be to you at the time, it will only ever be just that – simply another of your reactions … another of your ‘opinions’ … informed or not…

(He gestures theatrically with the first piece of paper as he places it behind the second one, and adjusts his glasses, before continuing on with his reading).

And the problem with that? … Well, absent the initial stimulus that provoked this reaction. This subsequent informed, or uninformed, opinion of yours? (He looks up again over his glasses at his audience before continuing). No matter how smart it was, it will very soon fade from your memory … to be lost forever anyway. At least as far as you’re concerned!… (He pauses)

Funnily enough though! (He looks up over his glasses again  and grins) It could be of real use to others who might have heard you delivering it (He  grins again, only this time it is even broader) So you could say that these others have been ‘given this talent’ of yours … as a ‘free-be’ … if you want! .. (He looks down, and, while appearing to search for his place on the paper, says in a quieter voice before continuing on). Regrettably though, as I say, it will be of absolutely no use whatsoever to you!

To be of use to you – or perhaps to others – you must obviously, also develop your own ‘Mode of Presentation’… And the essential ingredient to this? … Without which this ‘Mode of Presentation’ of yours will only ever still be so much blather? …(He pauses again dramatically, and looks around before continuing on). This ‘Mode of Presentation’ must be thoroughly grounded in your real, actual, lived experiences… Because it is only these that are ever going to constitute the real subjects of your Scheme of Inquiry! … Even if it appears to you at the time that you’re studying ‘something else’.

And … Ultimately! … This is the only data here that is of any real value … (He pauses dramatically before looking up at his audience, and then speaks, using a very loud voice, the word)… … … And!..

(As he completes that word ‘And!’ he drops both his hands, which now contain one piece of paper each. We realize that he has now moved back to where we saw him front and center stage. The stage lights now go up to reveal that he has, in fact, walked slowly around the circumference of an uroboros.  

He now moves back towards it’s center – situated at his original position, center stage, where we first saw him.

The stage lights go down, and once again we see him illuminated by the large spotlight. He raises both his hands above his head, each of which has a piece of paper in it.

Before he addresses his audience directly again, we first of all overhear him making a short comment to himself, as he steps confidently forward, slapping one piece of paper on top of the other with an exaggerated theatrical flourish).

“You know… I really do like this little piece…I think I’ll call it … 

(He has now reached the front-center of the stage again. He grins broadly before beginning to read. The spot has been tightened up so that, once again, we now only see the top half of his body..He clears his throat in an exaggerated theatrical manner, and proclaims confidently, and loudly, to his audience). 

Snakey Stuff”!!! 

(He grins broadly before beginning to read. The spot has now tightened up so that we now only see the top half of his body..) 

And! …without data.(audio cut, and lights black-out)

From ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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Any ‘system’ that I use contains the same four essential major aspects, or components. These consist of:

1).  A ‘Governing Concept’.

After Eugene Halliday – this would be, ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power’. Which means, for me, that any use I put my system to must demonstrate to my satisfaction that this is indeed the case.

So – one of the ways in which I could ask myself the same question as, “What is going on here with this dreaming/waking thing?” would be, “If ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power’, then what is going on here with this Sentient Power such that this dreaming/waking activity can be understood by me to be a manifestation of it?” (Which is actually far more like the question that I would actually ask)… … And – by the way – answers here that would certainly not be acceptable to me would, for example, be, “Because Eugene Halliday told us all that it’s true.”: or, “Because I believe that ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power’ no matter what the evidence is that I happen to uncover which appears to demonstrate the contrary.”

Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that, although I have stated in this blog that Eugene Halliday’s short and pithy ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power’ is my ‘governing concept’ – actually it isn’t 🙂  … Well it is … But this is the ‘shorthand version’ of it that I make use of because, first of all, it’s convenient and I like it, and it’s easy to put down on paper; and secondly, I am assuming that those who are reading this blog will probably have come across it somewhere in Eugene Halliday’s material..

But this concept has been around a very long time. In fact I would claim that it belongs at the very beginning of Western Philosophy…

Here, in my opinion, is the ‘first version’ of it – which is far more like my actual ‘governing concept’… It is also from a text I believe that Eugene Halliday would certainly have come across very early on in his studies…

We must then, in my judgment, first make this distinction: what is that which is always real and has no becoming, and what is that which is always becoming and is never real? …[28A] …. We must ask the question which, it is agreed, must be asked at the outset of inquiry concerning anything: Has it always been, without any source of becoming; or has it come to be, starting from some beginning? [28C].                                                                                                                             Plato – Timaeus. 

The most import aspect, for me to ponder over, in this text from Plato? … The realization of the supreme importance of that very first phrase here, ‘We must then … first make this distinction..’ Because, in my opinion, if you don’t do so, you cannot actuate this ‘governing concept’.

And bear in mind that this particular axiom of mine should not be taken to mean that it is ‘A tenet of my belief’, or some thing along those lines … It  is more like a ‘theory’ that I hold to; a way of investigating ‘meaning’ for me; a component of the ‘deeper structure’ that arises in my attempts to formulate a ‘Conceptual Framework’ (See ‘3’ below)

2).  A ‘Scheme of Inquiry’:

I would claim that this is also after Eugene Halliday.

This consists essentially of taking on board all and anything which happens to come along that I can handle… This would include – but would not be restricted to – studying lots of difficult books about lots of different subjects; acquiring legitimate qualifications and skills; making a living; entering relationships of one kind and another; life experiences, etc. etc.

In the case of the dreaming/waking thing that I am using for my example here, this would include an exhaustive investigation into the dreams themselves (location, events, emotional state, etc.); investigating whether any of the components of my dream match-up with any of my day-to-day experiences, together with a similar examination of my immediate waking state (my emotional state, the subject matter of my thoughts, bodily sensations, etc.).

The one essential tool for Working effectively with any ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ would be, of course the use, and continuous development of, an ‘active’ language.

3). A ‘Conceptual Framework’:

‘Conceptual Apparatus’ is a term from the 1930’s, that I appropriated from the Polish Philosopher, Kazimiertz Adjukiewicz, because I rather liked it…

However, I did then go on and customize it somewhat … For your information it was originally defined as: “The set of all meanings which attach to the expressions of a closed and connected language.” (A part of his definition that I rather liked), and that then goes on, “Thus two conceptual apparatuses are either identical or entirely disjoint.” (A part of his definition that I didn’t agree with at all), and ends with “(E)very meaning is an element of some conceptual apparatus.” (Another part that I certainly do completely agree with).

In my system here, I refer to my modified version of this ‘Conceptual Apparatus’ as a ‘Conceptual Framework’, and it consists of those ideas and concepts that arise as a consequence of the examination, and subsequent distillation of, those events that constitute the raw material (prima materia) obtained from my ‘Scheme of Inquiry’. Ideas and concepts that must then all be placed in formal relationships with one another by me, in texts that make use of my particular ‘active language’, in such a way as to illuminate for me the particular realized event that is under scrutiny.

Thus, hopefully, they will inform, and  illuminate, the ‘deeper underlying structures’, if you like, that are common to all my dreaming and waking states, and that I conceive of as being responsible for, and that generate, these states.

The ideas and concepts that go to make up my ‘Conceptual Framework’ not only consist in material obtained from my contemplations here, but also make use of those ideas and concepts which I believe I understand, and that are contained in any one or more of my previous, more serious detailed studies into, for example, Jung’s approach to understanding the nature of the ‘unconscious’; or Marx’s approach to understanding the nature of ‘The Commodity’, … etc.

This ‘Conceptual Framework’ that I make use of in my system not only confines me to, but also initiates the production of, that series of questions then which will serve (hopefully) to ‘get behind’ the particular phenomena that I am investigating in my ‘Scheme of Enquiry’. But only from the particular aspect of my ‘Conceptual Framework’…

And so any result that I do manage to obtain here obviously then, constitutes an ‘abstraction’. (It is only perceived from this particular aspect – which is only one of possibly many) … A situation that Eugene Halliday maintains (and I agree), is problematic… Because there is a tendency to wrench the information you do gather completely out of it’s context – to completely decontextualize it – but to then go on and believe that you’ve now found out all about it…

So you must be continually aware that any ‘truth’ you do believe that you’ve uncovered using your ‘Conceptual Framework’ is not ‘absolute’, but is merely ‘relative’… However, ‘if you’ve done it right’ it should qualify as being ‘Sufficient onto the day’.

4). A ‘Mode of Presentation’:

a). To one’s self; and also perhaps b). To others…

My attempts at constructing and refining my active language would be an example of a); and the more linear account here in this blog would be an example of b).

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Coming to grips with the Jungian concept of ‘directed’ and ‘non-directed’ thinking would be of great help here, in my opinion.  (See Vol 5 Collected Works: ‘Symbols of Transformation’. Part One: section II – ‘Two Kinds of Thinking’)

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To continue… What you must really now go on to appreciate, or better, ‘realize’ here 🙂 – and so not just say stuff like, “Yes I understand that, it’s obvious!” – is that my particular ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ and my ‘Mode of Presentation’  are completely different from each other… And this is extremely important for you to always bear in mind.

Actually, I initially confused Eugene Halliday’s ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ (his studying, and then the subsequent production of those précis of his – see below) with his ‘Mode of Presentation’ (the material he presented to the public at large in his many talks and essays)… Well actually it was more like I had no idea at all what was going on when I first heard him speak. Particularly as those I questioned about his ‘technique’ here, seemed to be implying that the information he was delivering was coming ‘to him’ from some ‘Infinite Field’,” … (A ‘Field’ that he was ‘somehow’ … ‘letting’ … ‘come through him’, as it were)…

This was somewhat misleading, to say the least, but I eventually figured out what was going on here – well actually I just read the rules of membership for ISHVAL and the exact instructions about how to engage in a Scheme of Inquiry were there! (I’ve already posted a great deal about these ‘rules’, in an earlier post if anyone’s interested)  And it was only decades after he had died that I realized nobody I spoke with who claimed to be one of his ‘followers’ etc. (and there were scores of them) had actually ever either heard of these rules; or if they had, had taken the trouble to read them; or if they had read them, had taken any real notice of them – which, when you think about it, is really weird! … I think they just preferred to believe all that stuff about the ‘field’ … and that he was ‘somehow’ … ‘letting it all’ … ‘come through him’ … business instead … Because, initially at least, lets face it, it seems to be a much easier, far more refined, and downright much more pleasant way of going about things down here – far more enjoyable than actually taking the trouble to engage with any of those very hard to understand books at least! But if you then go on for decades ‘attempting to make contact with this field’ for yourself, and nothing really ever happens here that can’t be explained in a more obvious and sensible way, then you’re in real trouble! Because due to the inertia produced as a consequence of your prolonged investment here – you become less and less able to accept that things actually don’t quite ‘work’ like this – at least for you they certainly don’t! A realization that in fact would constitute a profit for you here – something you now really understood and that took you a great deal of time and effort to arrive at – so, extremely valuable in the ‘authentic world’ then, regrettably though, not so in any ‘genuine make-believe world’ 🙂

So my initial understanding of Eugene Halliday’s concept of ‘Sentient Power’  – which is an essential part of his Conceptual Framework, and was mentioned by him (using his ‘Mode of Presentation’ then) again, and again, in many of his talks and essays, was that it was an ‘a priori’ concept of his; that it was just there ‘in him from the beginning’, if you like; a sort of ‘given’ axiomic starting point for him… And in fact, the ‘sheet of white paper’ analogy that he used for this ‘infinite field of sentient power’ was often the starting point for many of his talks that he gave in Liverpool back in the 1960’s – if you’d like to check that out…

But I came to realize that this concept of the ‘Sentient Field’  emerged in him over time, and that he had in fact ‘synthesized it’ from his contemplation of the material that constituted his ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ – a gold nugget that he refined from all the crap he had to dig through if you like…

So very importantly, I would stress that this major concept of his was not ’caused’ by this material in any ‘linear’ sense…

It’s more like the way in which ‘value’ emerges from a relationship as it transforms dynamically over time… You cannot find this ‘value’ by simply examining the miriad objects, or ideas, or emotions, that are within this relationship; you cannot ‘take everything in it apart’ as it were – and then say,”Here it is, I’ve found this ‘value’ thing, it’s this bit here!” or “This ‘value’ thing is not here, so obviously it doesn’t exist.” … It’s more the case that ‘value’ … ‘becomes’ … that it ’emerges from’ … that it ‘arises above’, the relationship in some way…

But this is another (rather complex) subject entirely here, and in my opinion it does have a lot to do with understanding Modern Dialectics. So I won’t be saying any more about it here! … I would, however, be happy to go into it in more detail privately.. But I would suggest that anyone who wishes to do might first like to bone up in this area by reading one or two of those very hard to understand books 🙂

And anyway, as far as you’re concerned here, even if Eugene Halliday does happen to mention during one of his talks that, ‘All that there is is Sentient Power’ (a concept, as I say, that I believed arose from his ‘Scheme of Inquiry’), this is still, as far as you are concerned, just a piece of information that you have managed to acquire here from him. And that without you embodying this idea for yourself, this concept will lack any power to effect any real change in you. Indeed, it is far more likely that you will just appropriate this idea, to either impress others, or yourself….

Eugene Halliday’s advice to others here was that they: first develop an active language; with this language to then study major writings in science, art, religion etc., and to then present their findings to a group of like-minded people…  As I see it, developing this ‘active language’ is the crucial factor here then, and so not the studying…. And certainly not simply reading the latest trendy book (‘Quantum Reality and Life After Death’, or, ‘(Yet another) Gnostic Gospel’) and then clobbering together a cute little 45 minute talk on it – which is something almost any dim-wit could do really, isn’t it? 

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If you’ve Worked on something, my experience is that it always ‘comes up’ in you when you really need it (so it’s not the same as remembering then, but more like recalling) and it also forms part of who it is that you ‘authentically’ are. But what most folk are striving to remember is who they ‘genuinely’ are – an image that they have created for themselves and that they would like others to see them as  – and so it’s just acting then. So they have to repeat their lines every night or they will simply, very quickly, forget them.

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I have, over the years, become extremely cautious about involving myself with others who claim to be Working. And I will tend to (particularly during the last 20 years or so) do – to what to others might seem – an enormous amount of ‘checking-out’ before committing myself to anything more than just a temporary, and somewhat facile, social relationship here.

I’ll usually conduct what I like to call ‘One of my Little Tests’, by throwing out a few words, such as ‘Archetype’, or ‘Evil’ or ‘Death’ or ‘Religion’ or ‘Global Conspiracy’ or ‘Yoga’ (there’s loads of them) and then carefully examine any responses that surface as a consequence. Very quickly a pattern will usually emerge, and it then becomes relatively easy to see whether or not the person I am engaging with here has any real interest in: who they are; what they are; where they are; or, why they are … And go on hopefully then, to query what, in their opinion, will be their ‘next step’…. Incidentally, it’s more than OK if they say,”I don’t really know,” to that last one. 🙂

Not everyone who is Working is traveling by the same route anyway, and even if they are, then attempting to ‘go deep’ with them demands a great deal of care. Thus, even though you believe that you always ‘know’ if someone else is Working, this doesn’t confer any special qualities on this relationship necessarily, and it certainly doesn’t mean anything like, “And so you can now see into each others minds,” or that you have no need to bother discussing things, because now you both know everything there is to know about all this, or anything like that… In fact it’s one of those myths about this whole business that seeks to equate Working with belonging to some ‘special group of beings’ … You know the sort of thing – something like that ever-popular popular ‘celestial band-in-the-sky’ – the one that apparently includes John Lennon, David Bowie, Elvis Presley, Sid Vicious, George Formby, Billy Cotton, and Gracie Fields..

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I am only ever really comfortable with those who are more than willing to admit a lack of ‘certainty’, but maintain that they are honestly attempting to discover what’s going on here with as much integrity that they can muster, and for as much as their time as they can manage.

But it might be that maybe we do all eventually end up in the same barrel, and then again maybe we don’t – I wouldn’t know, or even like to guess…

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For me it’s all about my journey; and I would perhaps even go so far as to say that it might be about ‘our journeying’. But it has never been, for me, only ever about ‘someone else’s journey’. Because, fascinating though it might be, it’s still – in the end – just more entertainment (but perhaps of a more refined nature, if that’s what you need to float your boat).

Interestingly enough though here, others often imagine that I am ‘going deep’ with them, when actually I’m doing no such thing 🙂 … ‘Going deep’ isn’t something I do really, it’s more the case that it’s something that I am… And I wouldn’t say that it confers any advantages particularly either 🙂 Most of the time I’m deliberately trying to not ‘go deep’. In fact, normally, I’m just trying to ‘return a serve’ as simply and straightforwardly as I can, and trying not to upset others too much – usually though without much success.

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An added complication here is that, in my case at least, the amount of effort required to Work is so demanding that the temptation is always there to try to find a easier approach. But I do try to hold on to the belief that I am never being tested more than I can bear – although I will readily admit that I do very often, throw my rattle out of the pram.

So I am very clear about what I am being presented with when I hear Eugene Halliday speak, or I read an essay of his, or when I examine one of his drawings or figures – which is that this material forms a portion of the ‘fruits of his labor’.. and not mine…

And thus, even though his ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ might be one that I came to adopt – the actual material that comprises this is, for the most part, completely different from his; and even if my ‘Conceptual Framework’ makes significant use of a number of his concepts, it also does not use others that many here would see as fundamental to his particular system – such as the universal meanings of ‘proto-sounds’; or the occult significance of the letters of the alphabet; or many of his views on music, or gender; and particularly where it concerns the typology and topology of – what is a major concept in my ‘Conceptual Framework’ – the ‘unconscious’… As to my ‘Mode of Presentation’ – well I hope that this is very obviously different from his.

But if it helps you in any way here, I can tell you categorically, that his ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ involved him in attempts to absorb a extremely large variety of culturally important texts, and then go on to produce copious notes from these texts by hand – which he referred to as his précis…So, in my opinion as I say, these ‘fruits’ are not just simply ‘coming from this ‘Field” in the naive sense that many I have spoken with like to imagine, but could only arise in him as a consequence of his ‘Working’ – that is, from his particular patterning of this ‘Sentient Power’ that constituted him

And so, from my perspective here, his ‘Mode of Presentation’ then, does not ‘come to be’ as a consequence of some sort of ‘spiritual sleight of hand’ on his part, or some ‘supernatural trick’, but only from his ability to ‘labor’ at his ‘Scheme of Enquiry’ and his ‘Conceptual Framework’.. This task is, necessarily, very ‘hard work’ and a great deal of it needs to be done before you can even begin to focus upon the task of actually ‘Working’ in the particular.

NOTE: I have already made a few of these précis of Eugene Halliday’s available to readers of this blog in post number 11. But here they are again:

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Hierarchy

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Islam

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Karlfried Von Durkheim

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Modern Physics

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Pseudo-Denys

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Sorcery

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Soul

Précis – Eugene Halliday – The Basics of Judaism

Précis – Eugene Halliday – The Body

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Zen

So – to give you an example – Eugene Halliday’s ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ certainly involved him attempting to absorb material from books written by, for example, writers such as Iamblichus. And what he managed to glean from this material did, I would claim, then go on to form a part of his ‘Conceptual Framework’.

But his subsequent expressed opinions (his ‘Mode of Presentation’) re, say, ‘The One’ and ‘nous’ (using this Iamblichus example here) fail to include any stated reference to the original author, or this particular form of Neo-Platonism…. Rather, Eugene Halliday presents these ideas in such a way (using his ‘Conceptual Apparatus’) that, if you didn’t know he’d studied ‘The Mysteries of the Egyptians’, you could perhaps be forgiven for thinking they had somehow magically appeared to him out of ‘thin air’, or came to him ‘from the Field’, by a process that he referred to as ‘Letting’… (Again, the latter is, of course, ‘sort of true’, at least on his account. But I would still say that his manner of presentation never satisfactorily made this clear)…

In fact there was much of what he presented that I would claim was inspired by, or originated from, various sources – and I would say that this was obvious.. And yet, as I say, there were many who thought that it was all just ‘coming through him’ in a way that very clearly did not factor in the fact that he might have come across many of these concepts before (although, as I say, clearly not in the same form)… I don’t have anything to say about whether he did or didn’t really, because to me he clearly Worked on this material. But I do believe that he was aware that those who listened to him did think of him in this way – and this I do find mildly troubling… But then again, I do believe that he did have a great sense of humor 🙂

There are also those who claim to have heard him say that he wasn’t thinking when he spoke… And I find it difficult to understand what they (or he) might have meant by that. Unless they were simply trying to say that he wasn’t just reciting something that he remembered ‘from his memory’, as it were…. Maintaining that, “He wasn’t thinking when he spoke,” is a rather clumsy, and unnecessarily obscure way of putting this in my opinion… And anyway, I’m fairly certain that the more gullible here did imagine that, when he was talking, he went into some sort of trance and perhaps did something similar to what it is that folks now like to refer to as ‘channeling’ – so just yet more trendy crap then really, in the end, I suppose … And yes … ‘tricky’ .. (yet again) .. 🙂 …

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In my experience, it is entirely possible to Work on an active hermeneutic ‘Mode of Presentation’ in such a way – particularly if you use little technical language, but instead use words that are in regular common usage that you have ‘activated’ – to then go on to be able to use this seemingly ‘ordinary language’ on a ‘lay’ audience, in such a way as to demonstrate rather exciting new ideas in an extremely convincing, but essentially passive, manner.

But what happens then – particularly in the case of followers of speakers such as Eugene Halliday – is that a significant number of them will then go on to believe that they really understand him; that they have somehow ‘got it’, without ever having to engage in any ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ for themselves…. ‘Something for nothing’ then! … They just have to turn up at Eugene’s talks and ‘all will be revealed’.

Perhaps some of them will eventually become troubled though, because they cannot ever re-present his concepts in any depth to either themselves, or to others; or ‘get them to function properly, like these ideas clearly do in him’; or because they find that they have to continually go over his recordings and writings in order to ‘refresh’ their memories 🙂  … Can you see that this sort of behavior is a million miles away from ‘rendering an account’ of your own life experiences, gathered from your own particular ‘Scheme of Inquiry’?

I won’t go into my perception of this particular aspect of Eugene Halliday’s approach any further here, but would just add that, in my opinion, nothing of all this will be really understood by you in any real sense without an in-depth appreciation of yet another of Eugene Halliday’s concepts. The one that revolves around the two terms,  ‘circumscribed’ and ‘uncircumscribed’ …

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Anyway … To carry on with this example of mine … I have had the following repetitive dream for a very long time now (decades)… Sometimes I will have it every night for a week or so, and then it will suddenly stop – often for very long periods …Why does that happen? Well I couldn’t say exactly. But from my own perspective I’m satisfied that I have eventually formed an extremely useful Working hypothesis about it.

I should perhaps also mention here that I have a number of these reoccurring dreams – some of which are obviously connected to each other… But just let’s just deal with this one for now.

“I find myself in the house that my wife and I bought when we were first married.

It is very small and in need of a great deal of repair. Much of it is derelict, and I need to take care when I’m moving around, but in my dream I don’t feel over-burdened, or anxious, by having to do so.

I keep on discovering new doors, rooms, and passages in this house.

Eventually, and by a somewhat torturous route, I get to what seems to be the attic, which not only seems to be enormous, but also very, very, old.

It is also very dusty. But there is a light that is shining through the holes in the roof that makes the dust sparkle.

I am now somewhere in this house then that I never suspected even existed.

Emotionally I am experiencing a positive state of amazement cum astonishment. But there is also a faint sense of trepidation present that centers around a vague suspicion that actually I might be totally lost, and so might be unable to find my ‘way back’. But I don’t formulate, or focus, upon this – not because I am reluctant to do so, but because doing so seems inappropriate somehow. And anyway, that light, which is being reflected off all the dust here, encourages me to maintain a positive frame of mind.

I am also aware that I would like this state of affairs to continue.”

That – in essence at least – is my dream. And my recalling of all the details in it that I can, together with my consequent attempts to flesh these out without embellishment if at all possible, focuses on questions such as: what it was that I was wearing; physical details of the location(s) – the state of repair, ambient temperature, if it was raining or not etc; the degree of physical comfort or discomfort that I was experiencing; my changing emotional state during this dream; details of anyone else who might have been present in the dream; what was it that I particularly ‘noticed’ – that was experienced as being ‘more present’ than something else … etc.

This ‘recalling’ and ‘fleshing out’ of mine in this way, constitutes – in part at least – my ‘Scheme of Inquiry’. At least where it concerns this dream here.

NOTE: I am well aware that there are any number of ‘interpretations’ (in the sense of Joseph’s interpretation of the Pharoah’s dream) that can be applied to this dream – some of which might surprise you. But interpreting this dream is not my major concern here at all…

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What I do next arises as a consequence of my (ever evolving) ‘Conceptual Framework’.

The (if you like) ‘axiomic position’ that I start with here is that ‘All there is, is Sentient Power’. But my actual examination of this dream (a dream which is, for me therefore, an aspect of this Sentient Power) begins from what I might call my second axiom. Which is that nothing ‘transcendent’ – in the sense that anything experienced by me ‘in’ here, has actually come to me from ‘without’; that nothing actually ever ‘drops in to pay me a visit, before moving on’, as it were.

Everything, for me then, is always ‘immanent’ … or is only ever some modification or other of my consciousness (which is also an aspect of this Sentient Power, but in my case, it is circumscribed).

I do believe however that there is an external reality, but that this is, in it’s essential nature, ultimately unknowable; and that I can only inter-act with it via my relationships with particular aspects of it (these aspects would include then ‘other beings’, and also ‘events’). And that these aspects ‘ever-more come to be’ as I become more involved with them…

This external reality can ‘influence’ me as something ‘coming from without’, or ‘from out there’, and be experienced by me as anything from ‘unwelcome intruding’ to an ‘aid to progress’ – depending upon my actual relationship(s) with this particular aspect of this objective world of mine at any one particular moment… Such relationships are also dependent then, to a very large extent, upon the ‘make-up’ of my individual integument at the time… So this is what, in part at least, I mean then by my use of the term ‘external reality’…

This ‘external reality’ of mine can also be experienced by me as a place along my particular journey where I can do some Work – in order to modify my integument in such a way that it functions ever more positively to develop my potential …

It hardly needs me to add then, that as a consequence of this perspective of mine re these concepts of Eugene Halliday’s, I consider my approach to them to be more than just simply ‘an understanding’ of them, but as a definite mode of praxis for me, and one that consciously affirms my taking on board these (expanded by me) concepts of his.

As I have repeatedly stated here in this blog though, there may be other ways of approaching this for all I know. And if anyone reading this has, in fact, developed their own way of proceeding here (and is not merely reacting to what it is that I’ve written) then I would love to hear from them about this (different) mode of praxis of theirs.

Finally for this bit … I don’t believe that unless you have somehow come across these ideas of Eugene Halliday’s you will be unable to Work … Because you obviously can do so without ever having heard of him, or his ideas … (See, for example, Boehme, for more on this point if you’re interested).

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If you change whatever it is that you believe the world to be, then you will change whatever it is that you believe yourself to be; and if you change whatever it is that you believe yourself to be, then you will change whatever it is that you believe the world to be .

And if you do ever come to realize this about your existence, you will now need to learn to function dialectally… Because you now know that what is going on down here is not just simply a process of merely ’causes and affects’.  

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Whether you’re a fan of Saussure, or Pierce, or Wittgenstein, or Derrida, communicating with either ‘yourself’ or with ‘others in the world’ requires that you come to terms with ‘the arbitrariness of the sign’.

And although you might still suppose – at least where it concerns your own private, hermeneutic language – that you do not need to agree or disagree with others here on the particular meaning (never mind the definition) of any sign (word), because ‘what you’re saying’ is all going on here in ‘the privacy of your own mind’ – in fact you do.

Because when you talk to yourself, actually ‘someone else’ is listening… And this ‘someone else’ must either agree or disagree with you – even if you believe that this ‘someone else’ is ‘still you’…

And also – perhaps even more importantly – this is where the roots of ‘difference’; ‘the other’; and ‘division’, actually lie.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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I believe that it is only ever my relationships with an ‘objective world’ that provide me with any ‘meaning’. And it is only this ‘meaning’ that can ever make any difference.. Or I could say – after Eugene Halliday – “It’s (only) real, if it makes a difference.” …

And so it follows for me than, that ‘nobody’, or ‘no thing’ at all, could possibly ever make a difference to me, unless I’m in a relationship either with them, or to it.

NOTE: An interesting series of very important questions for me here center around, “Is it possible to be in a relationship, and thus be effected by it, if I’m not conscious of it?” (It is – by the way)… or “What happens if I am mistaken as to the nature of a relationship here; does this mean that my subsequent inter-actions with my objective reality are ‘flawed’ in some way?” (Yes – it does) .. “How do I refer to something if I’m not in relationship with it?” (I don’t – I can only register, and then refer to, it’s affect)…

To come to grips with these question though, I believe that you first of all must appreciate the crucial difference between the meaning of the terms;: ‘sentience’; ‘reactivity’; ‘awareness’; ‘consciousness’; ‘reflexive-self-consciousness’…

For many though, these terms are often confused, or conflated. And although this might not matter that much in the course of any day-to-day chatter, if you are using these terms when you’re Working it is crucial that you appreciate the fundamental difference in meaning between them…

A whole portion of my active language is devoted to illuminating: What is, or is not, ‘real’?; What is a ‘trick’ and what is an ‘illusion’?; What process takes place in me in order for me to accept events as ‘real’?, etc.

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To summarize a bit here…What is only ever happening ‘in me’ is that I am experiencing modifications of the circumscribed Sentient Power that constitutes ‘me’, and so there is never then, as I am very fond of saying, “Anyone else here in the building with me.” And thus I am – you might say – only every experiencing immanence – modifications of that circumscribed Sentient Power that constitutes ‘me’ … So I never have an experience of any ‘extra’ Sentient Power ‘manifesting’ or ‘doing stuff’ in ‘me’ – so not transcendence then – except  via these modifications of my own circumscribed being. And hence the reason for that every present possibility of ‘doubt’ then 🙂 … Eugene Halliday’s concept of a translating wave of sentient power impacting upon the outer surface of a sphere of circumscribed sentient power is a useful starting point here – but in my case, I had to initiate quite a few modifications to it very early on in order to get further (And I started doing so by constructing and examining analogies using the way in which ‘heat’ is transferred by the way. i.e. Conduction; convection; and radiation).

This idea of ‘immanence only’ seems to make some people nervous … Perhaps because it reinforces a largely negative emotional reaction to the idea of ‘being alone’ – not a reaction to this idea that I share actually.

Rather, for example, the idea that everything in this dream that I’m dealing with here is some aspect or other of myself (and that would include all the ‘other’ people who might be in it, together with the buildings, the weather, the impossible situation, the emotional states etc) – all this symbolism that is arising from my non-directed thinking then – is something that I find mind-bogglingly mysterious, magical, and amazing, and – in my case, and so more importantly – much more reasonable to believe in….

And so my investigation of the manner in which I communicate with this ‘otherness’ that I am creating in this day-to-day waking world of mine that I then ‘find myself in’, by acts of seeing; smelling; touching; tasting; hearing; reasoning about; emoting over, etc. – and that are all properties of this ‘Sentient Power’ – is as much as I need to be dealing with … It’s far more than I can handle actually 🙂 …

I mean, “What is the purpose of all this?” … (And please note, that’s a completely different question from, “What is my purpose of all this?”)

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It might help you here if you could appreciate that, for me, even my ‘seeing something’ brings me – immediately that I do so – into relation with it. This in fact was another of my Work exercises. That is, to develop the ability to ‘See’ –  as opposed to just ‘see’.

To appreciate how I came to this idea though, you first really have to become aware that there are any number of things that are present in your ‘field of view’ all of the time that your eyes are open, and as a consequence of this, that it is, in actual fact then, possible to both ‘see’ and ‘See’.

Developing the ability to ‘See’ (with a capital ‘S’) hinges around the concept that the sense of sight, for me, (and all the other senses actually) is essentially irrational. In that the sense of sight ‘sees everything’ without discriminating, or focusing – obvious to you if you have ever observed a new baby attempting to gain ‘control’ of its own vision, I would say. …

So ‘seeing’ – in the sense that I mean it here – requires the ability to instantly initiate the act of consciously ‘looking at’, or the ‘bringing to be’ or ‘selecting’ some particular in that field of vision, and also incidentally, at the same time, of excluding everything else (much easier to get a handle on this idea by using the sense of hearing and imagining that you are focusing on that conversation that you want to over-hear ‘over there’ in some crowded, noisy room, while you are being spoken to by someone else, and have to converse with them).

This ‘seeing’ then, is for me, a purely rational process – in that it is one requiring an increasingly conscious act of discrimination the more that focussing upon some ‘particular’ within the ‘field of view’, is required by the looker… But – and here’s the interesting thing – although this sounds very complicated to manage, it’s something that everyone learns to do before they can even talk!

Why then have I brought it up here? … Because it provides a great metaphor for understanding what Working is about. The usual pitfall here is that ‘Seeing’ as opposed to ‘seeing’ involves cultivating the ability to ‘focus better’ or developing some sort of ‘occult micro-vision’… It isn’t anything like that! … ‘Seeing’ with a capital ‘S” is the ability to observe yourself ‘seeing’; to be aware in the moment that you are doing so… even if you’re nearly as blind as a bat!

Working on ‘sight’ (‘Seeing’) then, is practicing the act of ‘seeing’ – which, as I say, is almost always confused with ‘concentrating upon’ (or ‘focusing’) on some particular object of interest in your field of view –  which is still just ‘seeing’.

Actually, Working on the senses is another subject entirely, so I’ll leave you there with just that brief introduction, and carry on with the example of dreaming/waking.

And finally for this bit here.. And you might find this disappointing … a lot of what is actually ‘Working’ – particularly on your senses – is no big deal really.. And you can do simple things like ‘Seeing’ any time that you want. Developing these abilities won’t get you very far here though – so perhaps it would be better for me to refer to this mode of Working as being one that begins with a letter ‘w’ that is somewhere between a small case and a large case… For the time being anyway 🙂

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The next thing that I attempt to sort out?

To what extend can the events in this dream be subsumed under a series of dynamic, simple, causal, set of relations… For example, “I am climbing higher up this long flight of stairs here because I’m lifting my feet up one after the other, and as a direct consequence I feel a bit weary” or, “I am getting higher up this set of stairs here because I can levitate and the ability to do so is raising all sorts of conflicting emotional states in me.”… And to what extent can the events in this dream be subsumed under the aegis of an emergent system. For example,”What are the factors that went into determined my evolving emotional state in this dream – as in my being aware that there were two events in the dream that gave rise to a third, and my emotional state moved in a direction that could not have been realized from only one of those two prior events… And so was I then ‘being headed’ towards this emergent emotional state purposely in this way, or was it somehow a random consequence?”

Now here we can easily see a real problem with my attempt to formulate a ‘Method of Presentation’ that will suffice for me to inform others as to what it is that I’m up to here. Which is, that unless they already appreciate the concept of the ’emergent system’ (part of my ‘Conceptual Framework’ then) – at least as it applies to the simpler case of these changing emotional states of mine mentioned above – what will happen now is that more and more of any little ‘presentation’ of mine here, will very quickly become increasingly ‘passive’ to those who are listening to it… And although they might, from moment to moment, claim to be ‘following me’ and to ‘sort of‘understand’ what I’m on about – they will very soon forget any ‘meaning’ they have temporarily given to what it is that I am saying. Because what I’m presenting to them is neither ‘grounded’ in them experientially, nor can it be understood by them in any depth – due to their lack of an adequate ‘Conceptual Framework’.

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Anyway 🙂 …To go back a little to this example of mine. Notice that, in my case then, that it’s the, “Why is this happening … at all?’ that predominates, and not, say, the ‘What does it mean?”. And importantly, for me, this different approach to understanding something in all this here constitutes a different ‘journey’ for me… Do you see that?

So then, for me at least, the initial question here is ‘Why?’ … That is: What is it about us as beings (as circumscribed modes of this Sentient Power) that brings this state to be?… Does it happen to artichokes? … Does it happen to kangaroos?… If it does, does it happen in the same way? … There are literarily hundreds of questions you could think up here….And without a system, I believe you will do just that – go round in circles asking an unending number of, in the end, unconnected or unrelated questions.

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Thus – and problematically so – which direction do you go off in then? … Well I can only tell you that I believe you’re free to choose…

What particular perspective(s) do you focus on, and which do you ignore? … Well, I believe you’re free to choose them as well… 🙂

The question “What constitutes the ‘wheat’ and what constitutes the ‘chaff’?” here is, perhaps, a good way of looking at this, because it implies that you have to separate out these two components for yourself… Which of course implicitly implies they are initially ‘present together’ here… But we don’t all have the same ‘chaff’ and we don’t all have the same ‘wheat’. However we can have the same value systems of morality, or ethics, and so we can metaphorically use money (‘talents’ say) in order to clarify any ideas we might have about any increase in potential that we may have achieved (a profit then) in order to present our experiences at least to ourselves. So ‘chaff’ then is, to all of us here ‘worthless’, and ‘wheat’ is, to all of us here ‘a profit’.

You have to Work in order to refine as much of what you have that you can, and you can only do that by gathering together – using your ‘Scheme of Inquiry’ – as much unrefined material as you can, initially. So you could say that, “To begin with, it’s rather a messy business, but things eventually begin to clear up as you begin to Work and separate out what is valuable (to you, here and now) from the rest.” …

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I don’t believe that at some point, this requirement  to Work that I experience will ever cease. Neither do I believe that becoming ‘totally self-reflexive’; or ‘getting rid of my ego’; or ‘reaching a higher level of consciousness’; or ‘being saved’, or embracing any one of a host of ‘New-Age clap-trap quick-fix ideas’ out there, will ever make Working any ‘easier’.. Looking for this easier route though, is how I experience most people’s efforts here …

Here’s a rule for you then – ‘If you do find ‘Working’ easy, then you must be doing it wrong’.

For me … We grow old … and then we die .. And this whole business is such a profound mystery to me that if there was one state of being that I experience which convinces me there is some hope, then that would be when I am brought to the place where I can appreciate just how essentially unknowing all this ‘to be from moment to moment’ business actually is for me… The relief that I experience, in those rare moments in my life when this happens, is like nothing else.  Nonetheless, and paradoxically perhaps, I have still always had an unshakable belief in purpose – which I came to refer to, sometime in my early thirties, as Working…

Others, may of course, do exactly as they wish to with their lives… It’s in the rules down here anyway… 🙂

To be continued …

December 2016

Portland, Oregon.

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Here now, is the original first half of this post…

Sections of the email that I received are also included here in italics. I have expanded my reply to it a great deal in an attempt to clarify my position re Working and ‘matters Halliday’, in the hope that this will prove useful.

 IF, we are on similar wave-lengths, then you won’t mind engaging with the following ‘conundrums’ which arose as I read your most recent blog. Obviously it seeks to continue and summarize what went before, but without re-reading the last 20 posts (time being of the essence!), your ‘argument’ here does little to clarify what it is that we are aiming for with this ‘Working’ business.

Well, first of all, I would like to make it clear that it has never been my intention to present some form or other of ‘argument’ in this blog – at least in the sense that I’m defending any particular, intractable position of mine against others here.

Neither was it ever my intention that these posts of mine – even if read in numerical order – would constitute some manner or other of ‘causal chain’ – if only because they clearly do wander around a bit. ..

But apologies if what you have read here comes across like this… And I do admit that I can easily see how you might have come to this conclusion 🙂 …

I am, rather, you might say, “Always open to suggestions.”…

I should also like to add – just for the record – that I am not attempting to give my opinion here, as to who it is that I believe Eugene Halliday ‘was’ (such as a 20th Century ‘guru’, or anything like that) either.

What I have been attempting to do in these postings of mine, is tender an account of sorts re the consequences of my interactions with, what I consider to be, a number of major concepts that are contained in Eugene Halliday’s material output.

So my endeavor here is then, I would claim. far more of an ‘expansionist’ one – in that the perspective that I did eventually arrive at, ‘arose’ out of my attempts to engage experientially with this material. In other words, I didn’t listen to recordings of Eugene Halliday talks by starting with ‘number one’, and then go through them ‘in order’ – such that I was persuaded in some way re the ‘truth’ of them by the time I got to, say, the twenty-fourth one – which contained additional ‘information’ sufficient for me to say something like, “I would never have got all this without listening to that little bit of this particular recording, because without it, it’s obviously impossible!” … In fact, the penny only started to drop when I began to see that what he was ‘basically saying’ was contained in its entirety in many (but not all) of his individual talks. However I didn’t see this until I’d immersed myself in quite a few of them.

Providing some account or other of this ‘journey’ of mine is, I believe, the only purpose – where it concerns the products of someone else’s endeavors – that I (or anyone else here for that matter) could legitimately maintain with any integrity, at least out here in a public arena.

So I’m not trying to ‘persuade’ anyone here that the result of my ‘journeying’ – that is, what it is that came to have meaning for me here – is the unequivocal meaning of some particular concept or other of Eugene Halliday’s.

Also of primarily importance to me (at least when I started out with this blog) was to discover if this material actually had any meaning for others. And if it did, then what might that meaning be? …

My own take on Eugene Halliday is that he was (what I refer to as) ‘Working’. Which, in his case, I would claim was the attempt to perceive, to experience, ‘being here in the now’ from one unifying (axiomic) position; or (as he would, perhaps, put it) ‘governing concept’. To whit, ‘All that there is, is Infinite, or Absolute, Sentient Power’…. And that he was doing so, in part, by producing (what I refer to as) ‘texts’ that served to demonstrate this ‘governing concept’ of his, and thus functioned as a witness to his affirmation here; or that came to  constitute the ‘Fruits of is Labor’, you might say..

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Regarding your use of the word ‘we’ here, where it concerns ‘Working’.

I would have to know something more about your side of things here. I’m not aware that you have ever claimed to be (in some way) ‘Working’. And I have never maintained that what I refer to as ‘Working’ is an activity that has to be engaged in by anyone else. Unless, that is, they claimed to be, “A pupil of Eugene Halliday’s,” or to have, “Sat at the feet of the master,” etc.. or something like that . …

I do claim in my blog that I believe Eugene Halliday was  ‘Working’ – but have gone to some lengths to maintain that this is only how I see what it was that he was doing, and that I fully appreciate others might disagree with me entirely… So .. I engage with Eugene Halliday’s material, and I conclude that what he was doing was what I refer to as ‘Working’. I also understood him to be clearly, at least suggesting to others, that they also Work (see his note to that effect at the end of his ‘Rules for Ishval’) – which is how I subsequently came to innocently ask the question “So how did anyone else get on here who claims to have been involved in the things that Eugene Halliday suggested that they do?” And why I was so surprised by the response – or I should say (more accurately) by the almost total lack of response.

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My response to anyone who happens to put the word ‘Work’ and ‘we’ in the same sentence came, almost invariably, to be my “Who’s this ‘we’ you’re talking about? … I do hope that you’re not including me here!” position… 🙂 .. In fact I don’t ever recall ever having found anyone else who was Working to ‘join-up’ with – at least in the way that I would claim that I am..

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And I wouldn’t say that this ‘Working’ (in the sense that I use the term) necessarily constitutes a ‘group’ activity anyway… Primarily, because my experience at attempting to suspend any judgment here and ‘join in’ with what others seemed to be doing when they claimed to be either ‘Working’ themselves, or doing something that they believed was the same thing, always – in the end – seemed to back-fire on me, and seemed to me to be only ever productive of – what I came to refer to later as – an ‘inertic indulgence’. That is, a group of activities that were far more likely to produce some form of ‘consensus reality’, which very soon trapped those involved here in some pseudo-‘spiritual’-esoteric social space, and effectively blocked the possibility of them making any further progress.

A form of social activity then, where its members quickly come to invest most of their energy in supporting each other in their various attempts to rationalize, either their own inertic tendencies, or their participation in some crazy pseudo-esoteric cult; or some form or other of calisthenics – usually with a pseudo-Indian name with the word ‘yoga’ tagged on the end of it;  or in their support of some recent, fashionable (batty) New-Age ideology.

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I’ll just add here that I have never viewed Eugene Halliday as having ‘belonged’ to any group – at least in quite the same way that the majority of others who claim to have been involved here clearly seemed to think that he was.

I do believe that Eugene Halliday was advising others to ‘Work’ though – at least in the sense that I use the term. And, it seemed to me that he frequently suggested to various groups of interested listeners, an extremely straightforward and practical way of at least making some attempt to go about it… And so I suppose it would be reasonable that these listeners could collectively come to view themselves as a ‘we’. Particularly if they turned up at meetings for years on end…  But I have been unable to find any real evidence that this ‘we’ here ever developed into anything more really than just a ‘social group’. And the group meetings that I understood Eugene Halliday to have organized, and that I attended during week-days were certainly not Working in any sense that I came to understand the word. (Interestingly he handed the running of these groups over to others not long after they started. He would drop in on them from time to time, presumably to ‘lend his support’)… In fact most of those who attended didn’t appear to have the faintest idea as to what it was that they were supposed to be doing, or what was going on in general really.

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Speaking for myself here. When I saw Eugene Halliday giving a talk; or listened to one of his recordings; or read any of his essays, I was primarily interested in what he was doing, and how it came about that he was doing it (and also – as a fully paid-up deconstructionist – what was it that he was not doing) … and stuff like that… And thus, not so much then about the ‘subject content’ here (a great deal of which I will say that I did find extremely useful, but then again, a great deal of which I didn’t) but how he came to it… And the process by which he produced this material is really all that I have ever maintained a prolonged, deep, and abiding interest in.

Anyway, the generic term I use – that is, what I came to call what I believe he did – is ‘Working’.

I believe that Eugene Halliday Worked alone. But whether though that was from choice (an aspect of his technique here then) or circumstance (he simply made as much use as he could of what was ‘to hand’, ‘in the now’) I really wouldn’t like to say.

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Back to this ‘we’ thing again though..  I actually do believe that some form of ‘mutual’ support is possible where it concerns attempts to Work, particularly from a life-partner, or a close friend. But that in order to be able to offer this support; or be able to take advantage of it, those making these attempts must crucially – from the outset – be prepared to, “..show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.”

Regrettably though, it seems to me that one of the major motives for becoming a ‘we’ here, is that it enables many of those taking part to legitimately ‘hide in the crowd’ and wait for an endless stream of others to ‘go first’.. (“No Please! .. I insist! .. After you!”)  – And so, perhaps then, with a bit of luck they will be able to avoid ever ‘having a go’ themselves.. (“Oh look everyone! … We’ve run out of time again! … Sorry about that! … We’ll try to get those who didn’t step up this week to have a go next week… But we really do have to must move on here… Could we bring our empty cups back please” … Sighs of relief.). But now they have the delicious possibility of convincing themselves that they have, by their own good offices, got themselves ‘in the right place, and with the right crowd’. And then, by continually  deferring what the hell it was that they were actually going there for in the first place, they enter a sort of ‘Twilight Zone’ where they come to firmly believe that they must have in fact, ‘done the business’, because they’ve ‘been at it so long’, as it were…. Tragically, it is only when they eventually look back (if in fact they ever do) over those last couple of decades, that they might come to see that they’ve just been ‘marking time’… Regrettably though, most won’t.

But even if every single ‘we’ in this group are all, by some major fluke, in a rush to jump to the front of the queue and ‘be the first to show it all’. Crucial to any understanding of these ‘ritual relationships’  – first of all – is the appreciation that there is yet another major negative aspect here. Which is that most of those who turn up have no real idea of who it is that they really are to start with, and will instead make ‘genuine’ attempts to present each other with endless modified versions of the image of who it is that they happen to believe themselves to be, or that they like to show to others, at that particular moment… To (sort of) keep taking their wallets out of their back pockets in order to show the others involved here an endless series of snaps of someone else.

But most importantly, in the end – even if what is required here is successfully achieved – any thoughts, or feeling, or emotions, or actions, that subsequently arise as a consequence of this ‘revealing’, are only of relevance if they serve to move anyone involved here forward (even one would be OK).

So it’s not about ‘we’ really… ; or of gaining entrance to that mysterious ‘esoteric’ group’; or ‘arguing’; or ‘winning’; or ‘persuading’; or ‘negating’; or ‘disagreeing’; or ‘debating’; or ‘holding an opinion’, but only ever about being presented with the opportunity to ‘take another step’…

And notice that I’m not claiming here that taking this next step is what will certainly be done, necessarily. Only that you have succeeded in placing yourself in a position where you believe there is now an opportunity to do so… … And at this point then, it’s clearly not a ‘we’ thing at all … Anyway 🙂

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I don’t believe that there’s any particular methodology that ‘we should all be aiming to apply here either. That is, there is no ‘one size fits all’ then. But in my particular case, if it helps:

  • I believe you need to have a particular over-riding sense of purpose – such that you can eventually come to realize that having a ‘profound interest in’, or deciding that something would be ‘a very good thing to ‘attempt to do’, or ‘to live by’, is just not enough here… A much more stoic approach is needed in my opinion then (although I admit that this might just be me, but somehow I don’t think it is).
  • You also have to recognize that rationality – while obviously an excellent and essential tool for ‘understanding stuff’ – is only one half of what it is that is needed here; the other half then, being irrational. And that a major portion of what it is that you are attempting here, is the transcendence of both of these two approaches in your dealings with the objective world (the rational and the irrational) such as to bring them together into ‘dynamic balance’, in such a way that you are always ‘becoming’….
    If that sounds a bit too cryptic, try, “Becoming someone who can transcend these two aspects of their objective world, and see them as giving rise to something further.” … But I suppose that sounds just as cryptic … Now I come to think about it .. 🙂
    In my experience, the rational aspect of what I like to think I’m doing can always be contained in some form of text; but the irrational part cannot. This is easier to see in a shared experience, where any effort to ‘trap’ this experience ‘in the now’ (in language say) is always experienced by the parties involved as inadequate (from mildly to hopelessly so – even if one of them perhaps resorts to the reciting of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, or throws in the odd Latin quote {And why is it that if somebody says something in a dead language that translates into English as, “A face like a sack full of spanners,” there’s an opinion that it is somehow more ‘worthy’?} … An approach that I’ve never been able to understand personally, because it always seemed like cheating to me – although others seem to quite like indulging in it) … Anyway ‘something is always left out here then’, if I could put it like that…
    Thus, what I am saying here, is that any complete and rational ‘summarizing’ of the various states experienced here – particularly when we reach the level of a really intimate relationship – is impossible in principle…
    However, the spontaneous presentation of a bunch of roses at precisely the right time, can ‘do the trick’ here – but only ever ‘in the moment’, and only ever, ‘for the moment’… If you see what I mean  …
    Think of that question, “What do you mean when you say you love me?” ….And then think of that same question – with the addition now of some comments – something like this … And see what you think.

“What do you mean when you say you ‘love me’? … … Oh! … Wait a minute! … I’m sorry! … You gave me an exhaustive answer to that particular question last week! … So I already know exactly what it is that you are going to say! … Don’t I? …  I’m so-oo sorry!!  … And I do so-oo apologize for momentarily forgetting, and thus risking the possibility of wasting your time! … Can you ever forgive me darling?” .

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There have to be questions… You have to develop your own unique questions. Questions that no one else would ask in quite the same way that you do… Questions that are always there, and that come to constitute a large part of who it is that you ‘authentically. are, and what it is that you do…And you have to really know what these unique questions of yours mean, you have to develop that active language of yours in order to really ‘nail’, to pin, your question  ….They are the why of your Work… And I also believe that it is only by Working that you will ever find any answers to them… So I could say that this we is only, in the end a we when all the individuals that make it up have come to the place where they can all formulate ‘authentic questions’ – even if these questions differ… A bit heavy that, I suppose, but there it is 🙂

It would probably help you further here if I provided some detailed biographical information about the way in which my own efforts to move forward were reinforced, or augmented, by what I saw as the efforts of a number of other people (including Eugene Halliday) … But again, to do that properly would take a great deal of time and so it must – for the time being at least – be something for later.

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I am presuming that you are writing this out of a loving concern for ‘Action’ in your fellow journeymen, who show no signs of ‘putting the plug in the socket’ shall we say?

 

Not really … but thanks!

I’m not really that lovingly concerned about what it is that others are doing, I have enough going on with what it is that I’m trying to do… But I’d probably get a lot more Christmas cards if I did..  🙂

I’m actually just looking for others who might be Working, and trying to clarify to myself (and any others here) what I have been and am still, attempting to do.  And I’m also placing on record what it is that others who claim some association with Eugene Halliday, seem to have been doing from my perspective.

If we have a Governing Concept at all, then we have either idolized it or are not understanding it.

The simplest reply here would be for me to say that I’ve never actually met anyone else who has made any claim to the effect that they have a ‘governing concept’. Although one or two have trotted out the occasional ‘motto’… In fact I have never met anyone who has claimed that they make use of a ‘system’ (in the sense that I use the term – and which is also the sense in which I believe Eugene Halliday used it) either.

So it would be safer for me to say here that I don’t know. And that what I have attempted to do in this blog re the concept of a ‘governing concept’ is to point out some of the problems that I have experienced in attempting to formulate, and subsequently Work, with what I believe was the one that I make use of.

Perhaps I could add here though, that if this ‘governing concept’ is employed only in the production of a ‘genuine’ response, then probably (regrettably) the answer to your question here – from my perspective at least – would be, “Yes. It has indeed been idolized, or at the very least it has not been understood.” … But then perhaps not so much ‘idolized’, but more like, “What a great idea! I’ll give that a try just as soon as I can get round to it,” … And not so much ‘not understanding’ then, but more like a process of de-contextualizing or ‘trimming’ Eugene Halliday’s material, such that it then magically appears to fit quite nicely (or near enough) with their present lifestyle… And so all that really needs to be done here then is just a little bit of tweaking … And also perhaps some minor spring cleaning… … So ‘no need to make a fuss’ then..

If it is employed in the production of an authentic response however, then most of the time a ‘governing concept’ is far more likely to be experienced as a self-imposed limitation that can often be really irritating… This is because when Working ‘authentically’ the major purpose of your governing concept is to act as a guide, and also a limit to your endeavors…

As your involvement with your ‘governing concept’ grows though, this growth will be experienced as an expansion of the limits of the application of this term (as Eugene Halliday would put it) and as a direct result of this you will experience a real ‘increase’ in power (or – to put it another way – you will realize an actual profit, or an increase in ‘talents’, if you like).

Thus, if you’re really serious about your attempts to Work, your Governing Concept will function something like your very best friend.

If this isn’t what happens, then I would say that you must be doing it wrong. 🙂

I seem to remember in a previous post, that you were very emphatic about the difference between and the correct usage of the terms ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’, vis-a-vis active and passive language.

I would like to stress here that, primarily, it’s in my own usage of these terms that I am ‘emphatic’ about  – I don’t particularly care how anyone else uses them really, except where it relates to their personal elaboration of Eugene Halliday’s material – in which case I would probably be very interested. And I only offer my perspective on these two words here in order to perhaps assist those who will (in their more unguarded moments) confess to not having got very far in all this. And so then, viewing ‘Work’ in this way – from the perspective of these two words that is – might help them here … Then again, maybe it won’t ….

So the elaboration of these two words here in this blog comes about because they are intimately connected with my own particular approach to Working, which is intimately connected to my understanding of the terms ‘active’ and ‘passive’ – and maybe not at all to anyone else’s understanding of them..

 

This might help. I am, say, attempting to create more ‘meaning’ in my use of the two words ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’. I now consider the word ‘individual’, and then look at two further words connected with it… like this

  • ‘Individualist’ (and so ‘individualism’). This is a word I would use with ‘genuine’ .. the development of our own particular traits, such that we might become a ‘rugged individualist’ for example.. Changes then, in who we are, and – predominating here – how we are perceived by others ’in the world’
  • ‘Individuation’ – the process of working on ourselves as a totality – warts and all – through the medium of relationships – which are the magic ingredient in our lives, and the only way by which we can achieve any  real transformation here, and not just change, in my opinion.

Clearly however, there is some overlap here, and this is where I believe you must start – but if you want these words to be really ‘active’ for you, then you must involve yourself in a contemplation of them that is exclusively centered around your actual experiences with them… To ‘bring them to life’ then, if you like…

This will bring you to the limit of the application of these two terms as they apply to you ‘in the moment’ … So you can now say something (if only to yourself) like “When I say these two words, I mean this.” And perhaps go on to say to others, “What do you mean when you use these two terms?” … This will allow you to see whether or not the person you are talking with has done any Work on these words, or knows hardly anything about their meaning at all (and by ‘hardly anything’ I include their definition and etymology of it – which I consider to be only a reasonably clear starting point here).

That is, these words carry only enough meaning for them such that they ‘sort of’ understand any conversation that they might be having where they might hear, or perhaps use, one or both of these words.. For example, “I think Graham Norton is a genuine person.”; and, “I think that’s an authentic ‘Beano’ comic there. But that other one … that ‘Dandy’? … It’s only a photo-copy! … It’s a fake, mate!”

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This might also help… Initially, if you only try to use one of these words deliberately, when you can, in some situation or other. (As in , ‘I’ll try and get the word ‘genuine’ into as many conversations as I can, as many times as I can, for the next week … So that I can get used to it,” – sort of thing.) Then I would say that there’s a good chance that you will, not very long after doing so, forget anything of value you might have picked up here … But if you tell yourself instead, that you have to decide which of these two words to use – and tell yourself why you do use one over the other, then you will begin to see some sort of relationship between them, and this will make them active – because there will now be a perceived (experiential) dynamic between them (a ‘Yes’ and a ‘No’, that is) that you can sense between them – the little dance that they now do together, the little pattern they now make in your head, if you like. And this pattern can only come ‘to be’ by making use of that limited Sentient Power you have at your disposal, which you have now actively willed here to become tied-up in this dynamic pattern…

However, that’s not the end of it’, because it will now need ‘tending to’ –  otherwise it will very quickly become choked with weeds… The more you get here, the more response-ability you have, because it’s only you that can do the ‘looking after’ here 🙂

… So my further advice is always to try to work on two related terms at the same time, that way you will begin to see what Eugene Halliday’s ‘limits of the application of terms’ really means …. for you… And how it is that you need to ‘switch terms’ in certain situations; or even find that it’s possible to use the two of them. Because these two terms will sort of ‘shade into’ each other due to where and what it is that you are doing at the particular time,.

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Here’s a bit more about these two words.

Becoming truly (or fully) ‘authentic’ is my way of providing some sort of ‘umbrella-word’ as to what it is I’m experiencing down here. And so my claim to be attempting to center on my ‘authentic being’ is my way of expressing the idea that I’m struggling to be ‘on my way’ as much as I am able, and that part of my problem is that I’m divided – in the main – into who I am ambitious to be – that’s my ‘genuine’ self, the one that wants to save the world, if you like; and my ‘authentic’ me, who needs a lot of Working on….

And what is that all about for me in a little more personal detail?

Well – as a Christian – I need a couple of words to imagine two forms of being that provide meaning for how I feel about: a) what it’s like to be ‘having a go’ here (my version of the ‘imitation of Christ’ if you like) and; b) what I’m doing most of the rest of the time (which is usually naughty stuff; but occasionally might be ‘nice’ – particularly if I’m after something).

These two words are ‘authentic’ and ‘genuine’ …

I believe that there is only ever one representative, truly ‘authentic-all-the-way-down’ ideal human-being in any particular culture; in any particular aion, or that functions efficiently for any particular ‘zeitgeist’. And, as a European, that is for me is ‘The’ (the definite article here with the capital ‘T’ to remind me) Christ … And all the rest of us are as it were, in the end, failures for one reason or another.. Including all those ‘Saints’ and Martyrs’ (and definitely Mr Halliday then), however magnificent the effort.

Well… So what? …Because if Christ was ‘God incarnate’ (and that’s only just a couple of words by the way – and you really do need to clarify to yourself what this short two-word phrase might mean to you. Clue – this would definitely not mean someone who could part the waters of the Red Sea; or change water into wine; or pull a rabbit out of an empty hat) … Anyway, to continue, if Christ was ‘God incarnate’ somehow, then doesn’t he have an unfair advantage here?

Well no, he doesn’t really – at least not down here, as I see it, he doesn’t.

How do I arrive at that conclusion? … Well, here’s three reasons.  1) Christ’s ruminating in the garden over what he must do, before ‘giving it up’ to the Romans; 2). His having to take little rests when he was lugging his cross up the hill; 3). His cry from the cross re ‘being forsaken’ … These three ‘states’ that he experienced here makes him appreciably human for me..And that is the crucial thing in this whole scenario – I don’t care too much about the ‘God incarnate’ thing (because I don’t really know what those ‘organized religious’ mean when they say stuff like this – they seem to always mean ‘magic-man’ to me) but, “I do the Work of my Father,” I can get… Because in the sense that they can both do the same thing, I can see the meaning of ‘I and my Father are one’ when that is going on.. But if they were both doing it all the time this would mean to me that they were essentially the same and that would be a duality… But they’re not – because one of them is ‘part human’.

Interestingly here… What is this, “My Father Works..” all about?  (… “Sorry! … Can’t stop for a chat right now mate! …I’ve still got loads of Work to do.”) … Is there then, ‘something’ (let’s say, ‘creation’ for convenience here) unfinished in some real sense… Is it still then a ‘Work in progress’?… Is that what this ‘purpose’ thing is all about? (No space here to write more about this, but this is yet another very interesting aspect of all this for me 🙂 …)

A useful metaphor for me here is ‘Light’, where ‘full of light’… which (like Boehme) I would claim  is a state that ‘covers’ the darkness – a darkness which would be experienced when the light goes out (which is often the Human Condition) and that ‘comprehends the light not’ … As in, “Hang on a mo’, I’m just gonna turn this light out, to see what the dark looks like.”

Tripping up down here – even if it’s only once – means that an attempt has to be made to get back up.. Which means that something needs to be done (a decision needs to be made) … which is what we humans appear to be about.

So in order for me to believe Christ was human, I need to see that he had an awareness of the darkness here – which he needed then to overcame.

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But I would also have to say here that for me, this God does not decide. That is, there is no “Oh heck! What am I going to do here now?” going on. Because God is ‘All light’ and so, gets the big picture immediately then. (And, in Christ’s case that would also be the case for a lot more of the time (important word here – that ‘time’) than the rest of us, and is what I refer to as ‘being awake’)… But there must be a point at which we see his Humanity, his striving, because we need to, in order to form any relationship with Him. Otherwise it would be a bit like trying to be Spiderman, or Superman… Interestingly though, the way we have been trained to see this culturally by church and state, it’s the ‘human’ part that always does the letting down (but not by as much if you happen to be the Pope or the Prince of Wales, say, apparently) …

And see, that’s another bit of this that I’m not on board with here really. In fact there are a some of us who think there’s something that might not quite right about the Head Honcho   … 🙂

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So for me there has to be an experience in us that informs us that even for Him it wasn’t all just a ‘stroll in the park’ – and that, in act, he Worked on overcoming this darkness – even when it threatened to overwhelm Him…. He was Working ceaselessly then.. And those nails in his hands and feet were in fact just as much a ‘big oww-ee’ for him as they would be for anyone else – except for perhaps Spiderman or Wolverline.

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Finally on this bit. Even if it seems to you that I am being far too emphatic, remember that you are reading a text from me here, it is not the actual experience itself .. I am not debating an idea … I am attempting to describe a state – which I find frustrating sometimes and that, even at best, is extremely elusive to pin down… And it doesn’t really matter in the end if I can’t present it as clearly as I experience it … It’s about the trying. If it was ‘no trouble’ – all that ‘just ‘let’ it come in from the ‘field’ rubbish,  it just wouldn’t be worth doing .. Nothing would be revealed … The light wouldn’t flicker… It wouldn’t be Work… It would just be the illusion of Work… As far as I’m concerned.

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In this current post, the thrust of your ‘concern’ is spelt out near the end of the post, when you write, “ultimately this means, (at least as far as I’m concerned) that there are no ‘universal meanings’…..” To be consistent here, would you not have to allow that others may use these terms according to their own allocated meaning, which must then, be equally valid, given that you are not interested in the …”definition of, or etymological root” etc, and firmly place the stress on ‘You must do the necessary Work’, …”only you are able to initiate a process, and then subsequently involve yourself in it, such that it will give your life any meaning down here” ?

Exactly. But the problem here (where it concerns Eugene Halliday’s material particularly) is that I’ve never met anyone who’s ever been prepared to do that. That is – tell me what it (never mind any ‘Universal’) means to them… No one has ever said to me anything like, “Well this is what it’s actually like for me, this is what goes on; these are the surprises; this is how I ended up a couple of times; this is really hard for me; I don’t really know where to begin; I never seem to be able to stick at it; I suspect I’ve gone way of track; I never imagined that doing this would take me here; It doesn’t seem to be affecting others like this,… etc. etc.” It’s like talking to someone who has never actually been in the water, but has accumulated endless ideas and anecdotes about swimming; professes that swimming is their abiding interest; that they’ve met Tarzan, and – where it concerns any attempt by you to tell them what swimming is actually like for you – immediately starts insisting that what you say either couldn’t possibly have any validity – because Tarzan didn’t say it first, or that you’re ‘doing it all wrong’ … And yet there you are standing in front of them, in your swimming trunks, dripping wet, and panting. … (OK… So – not a pretty sight then 🙂 ) …

And yes! … ‘others may use these terms according to their own allocated meaning, which must then, be equally valid’ … Of course I do! And also that I am free to accept or reject these meaning that others give… But be aware that I believe many out there have little, or next to no, meaning in their lives – even though they might have heaps of ‘other stuff’.

Having earlier explained (in this same post) that “Working then, which is a process whereby one is (not simply accomplishing tasks but) attempting to ‘become’ something”…. What is the ‘something’ that we are trying to ‘become’?

First of all, irrespective of: whatever you believe it is that you’re doing: whatever it is that you are actually doing; whatever it is that you’d like to be doing; whatever you don’t want to do; whatever it is that someone else is making you do; etc. etc., like it or not, you are always ‘becoming’ something … anyway…

And you are certainly becoming older, and you’re certainly going to die…

And there are also a myriads of things that you will never become – such a giraffe; or a bunch of chrysanthemums; or a nuclear bomb shelter; or a song.

And so then, if you’re going to ‘become’ something anyway – what’s the big deal here?

I’m going to say that the most important word in this sentence What is the ‘something’ that we are trying to ‘become, is that word ‘trying’  Here is that same sentence with this word changed: What is the ‘something’ that we are going to ‘become’?; What is the ‘something’ that we are having to ‘become’?What is the ‘something’ that others want me to ‘become’? … Can you see what I mean?

I’m saying that the word ‘trying’ here is the one that has to become an active part of your language (For me, by the way – if this was my sentence – the word would be ‘striving’)  …  … In the same way that, in the term ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power’ – the important word for me here is that ‘is’… either one will do).

Anyway… What are you trying to become by Working then? … That would ‘your authentic self’, instead of your ‘genuine’ self, which is that being you are continually attempting to present to the world for whatever reason (You believe that you are a Roman Centurion say, and that you have lots of very important functions that you clearly just cannot abandon… Can you? … I mean – be reasonable for Christ’s sake! … 🙂  ) … And even for what you imagine is for a ‘very good’ reason (like devoting yourself to some charitable cause or other – a method much favored by pop and film stars; and also for those with too much money, or time, on their hands); or something you have come to believe is for the very best of reasons (Eugene Halliday would ask you though, “Good for what, or for who, exactly?)…

And before you think I’m against this sort of behavior, I will tell you that I am most definitely not, I indulge in it myself. But I would add that this behavior is almost always NOT constitutive of Working… It’s just something you can do in order to oil that conscience of yours – as (hopefully) you come to see how you are connected to so much of what is going on in the world that is dreadful – and how helpless you are – by yourself – to do anything about it…In other words, this ‘very good’ reason’ that you have for behaving like this, is actually a mercy  … For you. 🙂

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It’s also important to ‘take stock’ here at regular intervals. To take it easy for a bit… Say once every seven days..

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There’s a view of doing stuff out there that is connected very closely with sitting in a quiet room and doing nowt… But this has got very little to do with Working either, which is far more like trying to get that washing in off the line during a sudden heavy rainstorm, accompanied by a high wind… You just find yourself ‘trying to do your best’ … By, say, putting the clothes-pegs in your mouth while trying to stuff as many still-damp clothes under both your arms as you can…

You might be able to see here that your ‘genuine self’ could, far more likely, be much more concerned with ‘looking good’ while doing so. And so could easily start protesting, and be trying to discover all sorts of acceptable motives for quickly running back into the cosy kitchen – and not doing anything about those clothes out there on the washing-line…

This is the major hang-up, as I see them, for all of those well-meaning folk who are desperate to present themselves as  ‘yoga teachers’,  or some variety of ‘self-elected guru’ or other. They seem to have deluded themselves into believing that if only they knew the right trick (which always seems to involve training oneself to breath up one nostril; or ‘think of nothing’ {something that many of them actually seem to be very good at}; or eat only beans and radishes; or wear a white suit, grow facial hair, and talk using a very quiet reassuring tone about how easy it actually all is when you ‘know’,  then they will be able to stand in their garden in the middle of a howling gale with not a hair out of place, remain bone dry, and with all the washing stacked up and folded very nicely in that organic basket at their feet. … In the meantime, the best that they actually seem to have on offer, as far as you’re concerned, is to tell you to, “Try to keep calm, and wring your trousers out when you get back in the kitchen.” Something that our budgerigar could have told you for free, without you having to buy a special mat and go to all the trouble of learning – and then having to remember – the Sanskrit word for ‘Clothes-line’… You surely don’t need to go on a special diet to figure stuff out like this out do you? … Or maybe you do, because perhaps you believe that if only you can fill your life with an endless number of disconnected ideas, you’ll get to the end of it without spoiling your perm…

So then, I would maintain that  you need to have a period set aside (a ‘day of rest’ is a good way to think about it … 🙂  …) to do a bit of getting up-to-date and sorting out..

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If you’re ‘doing it properly’, you will eventually reach a place where you clearly have to accept who it is that you really are, and (at this point, rather obviously) you see that now (and only now) you have a choice to ‘set your face’ towards doing something about yourself – that is, to ‘become’ what you’re supposed to be… Another way to see this is that you now, finally, at last, have someone real that you can love, because this ‘authentic self’ is someone real.

And out of this love, you will now have the latent possibility to love others, because you are now real (please note, I’m not saying that you are ‘perfect’ or even ‘better’). Only that you are now a ‘someone’ then, who can ‘be’ with others …really..

Having had this realization (you don’t have to Work on perceiving initially that you are divided – if you look, you will see that you have always known that you were).. You can now begin your journey of ‘becoming who it is that you have the potential to really be’ (I call this process ‘Working’). Any particular progress that I happen to make here, I conceptualize as a ‘profit’. And no matter how insignificant it might seem at the time, it is always welcomed 🙂

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Something else that might help here … For me, the phrase ‘behaving spiritually’ means to be working on a re-arrangement of your present form by controlling the way that you function (learning ways to discipline yourself either positively or negatively) – something that usually requires the production of a great deal of  guilt on your part… Becoming a ‘spiritual person’ on the other hand is to transform your form by Working, and then engaging in meaningful relationships with others and with the world and the objects that you find in it, and thus ‘becoming’, such that you will have ‘more life, and have it more abundantly’ (producing an ‘increase’ or ‘profit’ for yourself then)… This will automatically produce a change in the manner in which you subsequently function, which will transform your form (but perhaps not in the way , or in anything like the measure, that you might have wanted)… One of Eugene Halliday’s suggested methods here was that you commit completely to something … (Letting our “Yes” be yes, and your “No” be no, then), without knowing (without being able to predict) what was going to happen (“I will help this mentally ill person no matter what happens; no matter how they behave; and no matter what is required of me.”) Mothers do it all the time by the way… Obviously though, once again, it is very easy to maintain that in some cases there might be some overlapping of the ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’ – but if that’s all you’re doing (producing dialogue of the type, “I don’t quite get what you mean… What about etc. etc.”) the most important thing for you to now understand is why you are doing so, and if in fact it’s the sort of thing (continually engaging in delaying tactics by telling yourself you’re just being cautious, or that you don’t quite understand) that you only ever really do in situations like this… 🙂 … Once again, I believe that Eugene Halliday had a great method for Working with this overlap, that he systematized using his concepts of ‘Ancestral Inheritance’ and ‘The Long Body’ (etc.). Where – to cut to the chase – your ‘authentic’ self convinces your ‘genuine’ self that it will get what it wants out of any situation if it will only get out of the way and stop interfering while you ‘get on with things’ here… In his system any increase now achieved by the ‘authentic’ self removes some of that engramic energy of ‘your’ circumscribed Sentient Power from the ‘genuine’ self, thus weakening it’s influence (It’s a bit more complicated than that… Actually it’s a lot more complicated than that 🙂 … And so, once again, I don’t think this is too good a time to go any deeper into it here)

Is the ‘be’ always coming and never arriving? You go on to say that your criteria for evaluating others “…re. their claims to be Working…..is just how able they are becoming at ….’doing’…..themselves”. Is your intention here to place the stress on ‘doing’…themselves’? In which case, only you and the given ‘Worker’ would know about it, i.e. you have ‘defined’. Working and say that few, if any, manage it, which is really hardly surprising given the lack of ‘ultimate meaning’.

See above on my belief in the requirement to Work as part of  the Creative Process… And I would just add that I have no idea how many of the seven billion plus of us are Working (I can’t ‘feel them doing it in the field’, or anything like that)… I suspect though that many are Working away quietly, but that, unlike me, they don’t happen to need material – such as that produced by Eugene Halliday – to keep them at it… I happen to be one of those beings who do so, because all my activity – like that of any introvert – requires that I first acquire or create some form of interior form to relate to before I can interact with the objective world  ..

I  don’t feel that this is of any real concern to me anyway; I can’t really generate any interest in something like ‘ultimate meaning’…

My only concern here are for those I meet with as I go on my way…  I don’t see many Working, it’s true, but – to use what I believe is Eugene Halliday’s view here –  Creation continues with or without any particular circumscribed being’s committed involvement to Work for the development of potential (He referred to this as the ‘slow way’ of evolution) – you can be as selfish as you damn-well like! It’s just that you can join in if you freely chose to do so, and that if you do you will find that you now have that  ‘Pearl of great price’ … But I’m getting all mystical again now…  🙂

Once again, as I have already pointed out somewhere in these posts I have no idea what the ‘ultimate’ in ‘ultimate meaning’ really ‘means’. It’s an idea that seems to me to be very closely associated with ‘the best’ – a major obsession for the many ambitious folk who appear to me to be spending most of their time attempting to clamber up very greasy poles in order, they fancy, for them to ‘get somewhere’… Can I ask if you have this ‘ultimate meaning’ in any aspect of your being?

In the post, you are interested to consider where the stress belongs in the words of a sentence, in order to deduce the intended meanings. However, if all meanings are subjective to an individual (“know what it means to you”), then this subjectivity implies that meaning is ephemeral and as fleeting as our lives, upon which that meaning then depends for manifestation. Hence, meaning becomes a pseudo-meaning, anchored to nothing (not even the ‘no-thing’).

All meaning is predicated upon the value of your relationships to other beings; objects; experiences, etc. as well as to your ideas. And it seems to me that you don’t give these aspects of all this the importance that I believe they deserve. It is dangerous to be satisfied entirely with a ‘correct answer’ – which is, in my view, merely a component of your current ‘Savior for a time’ – a construct then that will (and should) fall apart or turn to dust in the time process – because (thankfully) you will no longer need it..

 

I agree with the necessity of your heuristic approach to ‘meaning’ (or Work), through techniques which seek to inquire, explain, investigate and real-ise for yourself, yet as I already mentioned, I can’t see that Meaning itself..

There is no such thing as ‘Meaning itself’ except where it ‘arises’ from those techniques you happen to employ that are being used to throw light upon an already existing relationship… You cannot dissect a piece of paper with the word ‘five pounds’ on it and say, “Here’s the value bit – this little chunk here.” Just as you cannot ‘dissect’ your relationships in order to extract their ‘meaning itself’.

does not have some ‘objective’ (wrong word, but can’t find a better one) source (as does ‘Truth’, ‘Value’, ‘Purpose’ etc), which can only be conceptualised as God, S.P. or the Father etc.

I am not dissuaded that, yes, we do create our own meanings ‘down here’ because it is our way of qualifying what is real to us. Or, to put it another way, “All that there is, is Sentient Power, and this Sentient Power is Working for the development of potential in All being.” .. And the act of qualifying this process, as we experience it ‘in the now’, forms part of our attempt to ‘give it’ meaning.

Again there seems to be an attempt here to abstract the term ‘meaning’ from the experiential relationship that it essentially and necessarily requires for me to be. It’s like using a term like ‘just love itself’ … I have no idea what this might ‘mean’ and in fact it sounds ridiculous to me. (Interestingly here, Eugene Halliday maintains that ‘hate’ is ‘love deprived of its object’).

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My experience has been that although I’ve met more than a good few who claim that they are really interested in the idea of Work (one group here would be those who turned up to hear Eugene Halliday speak). But all that they really seemed to be interested in were ‘snippets’ of ‘occult information’ (if I could put it like that), or some definite course of action (complete with instructions of one sort and another) so they could ‘get stuck in’ and ‘develop’, and which they would then go on to discuss endlessly, between themselves. And if I had to say what was really going here with all these beings, it would be, “Nothing much at all really. Nobody here comprehends the purpose of Work, and instead imagines that it’s an ‘activity’ or something like that, where we learn all about ‘knowing things’ or ‘developing life-styles’ in order to perhaps, ‘ further enjoy our lives’ (Whatever on earth that is supposed to mean).” And without a sense of profound purpose already present (even if this is, by and large, unformulated, or undeveloped), without any overall direction then, engaging in pursuits like this confers no more real understanding necessarily  than any other leisure activity would.

So it is not that ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power, and that it is Working for the development of potential in all Being’ then… Because, as it stands, this is merely yet another interesting idea to discuss; or some sort of theological position that promises to become a fruitful area of study.

And so, in this facile sense, it cannot possibly be then, …’The .. Sole … Purpose … For .. My … Being …Here .. Now’. .. The problem? … This concept has to have meaningfor … me. And it can only have that if I enter into a relationship with it … If I experience it.

To be Continued ….

Bob Hardy
Portland, Oregon, USA

20th December, 2016.

 

 

This was intended to be the final blog-post in which I would be attempting to provide information regarding my various attempts to ‘Work’ with what I believe to be one or two of the major concepts that are contained in Eugene Halliday’s various talks and writings – the majority of which are freely available for downloading from the Eugene Halliday Archiveand also here, at Eugene Halliday Texts and Transcripts 

And this is, indeed, my ‘final post’… However it has become so ridiculously long – and it has also proved to be such a lengthy process to both write and edit, that I have now decided to divide it into at least a couple of more easier to manage ‘chunks’… otherwise I’m never going to get it posted…

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The previous posts in this blog contain very little biographical information about me – indeed, many of what I like to believe are major factors here are not even mentioned. For example: by the time I was 20 years-old I had already ‘been round the world’ (as we used to say in the Merchant Navy); that my wife and I have been together now for 58 years (since we were fifteen years old). It tells you nothing about our children, or our grandchildren; or give any details of where in the world we have lived at various times – or for how long; it tells you next to nothing about what my formal qualifications are; or how it was that I made a living; … etc… etc…

And I’d say that you’d have to be really unaware, if you’ve failed to consider just how much we are all shaped by our actual ‘being in the world’ (as Heidegger might have put it). Our physicality: big; small; fat; thin; spotty; ugly; bum too big; etc. etc. etc. Our intelligence: from those impressive academic qualifications we might have earned ourselves, to the trouble we might have experienced in our attempts to master the art of ‘joined-up’ writing, etc. Our emotional make-up: Having a good cry at the end of our 10th viewing of ‘The Sound Of Music’, to being indifferent to the goings-on of others in the guise of ‘minding our own business or ‘don’t like to pry’, etc.etc. Our relationships; our geographical location(s); our day-to-day experiences etc…

In fact, after trying to deal with all the ‘day-to-day’ stuff, I would guess that the location of most folk’s (so to speak) ‘spiritual dimension’ will almost certainly be ephemeral here – at least when it comes to the actual living out of their real lives. And will, at very best, be positioned somewhere near the border of all the rest of that stuff going on in there – if they were to be really honest about themselves that is…

And here’s an easy question for you, so that you can check out if ‘this might mean you’ … : “In what areas of your life are you absolutely certain that you placed your ‘spiritual’ well-being before any other consideration?”… …  I know! … I can already hear you saying, “Well exactly how long have you got!” … and, “Where would you like me to start!” …

But, by the way..  if you imagine your answer here should necessarily contain any details at all of how it was that you went about attempting to bring some peace and order into your life… Well – from my perspective at least – you’d be dead wrong.

And my decision not to go into any in-depth autobiographical detail in this blog should be taken by you as an indication that I have deliberately chosen to present the material here (that is, the details of my interaction with Eugene Halliday’s material) in the very particular way that I, in fact, have…

However, let me stress that I am certainly of the opinion that one can far more quickly learn about the affect on the lives of people who claim that they have been profoundly influenced by some body of ideas or other (particularly if they claim that these ideas are of a strong ethical bent) by simply observing how it is that they manage their relationships; where they decided to live; the way in which they run their ‘everyday lives’; and how it is that they manage both themselves, and the person that they are intent on presenting to the world – that’s the one that they would like us all to believe they really are. 🙂 …  But, as I say, I’ve just not provided any in-depth information like this about me here in this blog unless I believed it was absolutely necessary.

And as you obviously can’t do any of this ‘observing’ of me, even if you wanted to – you might well be tempted to ask, “So what exactly is this ‘particular way’ of mine, that I mention above?” .. Well – to put it bluntly – that’s for you to figure out … But, in this particular post at least, I could claim that whatever it is, here it is concerned with the way in which I construct, and Work, with what I refer to as a ‘system(s)’.

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Eugene Halliday maintained that ‘A system is [only ever] a saviour for a time’..

Most people that I have discussed this definition of his with, appear to have focused on that word ‘Saviour’ here (for reasons that were never very clear to me) .. In my case though, it was that subordinate clause, ‘for a time’, that I very quickly came to focus upon … Initially, I suppose, because – although systems are so necessary to me – I am continuously aware of the imposition(s) that they place upon me …

But, from the valuable perspective that I did manage to gain from this definition of Eugene Halliday’s, I came to experience any particular system that I chose to interact with as being (necessarily) bounded by the time-process   … Which is to say, I became aware that there was a definite point in the future when it was possible that I would be freed from it… This being the point at which I had done enough Work with it ..

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In order to have any hope of being successful at Working with any particular system, I also believe it is important that you must commit beforehand to what Eugene Halliday refers to as a  ‘governing concept’ (such as, ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power.’).. which should not be confused with a ‘motto’ or a ‘slogan’…

Why commit to a ‘governing concept’? Well you will then have a way of ‘quality controlling’ the consequences of your decisions here.. It functions rather like a compass (at least it does in my little corner of the world) and is the best way that I have discovered for sticking with the ‘correct context’. Particularly as the viewpoint I am striving to maintain there is always in danger of slipping about uncontrollably the minute that I lose concentration…

And it’s also OK to make use of different governing concepts for different systems – just as long as you stick to the one that you have chosen, once you’ve chosen it. …

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This idea of Eugene Halliday’s of a ‘Governing Concept’ … It can be a very tricky thing, and in my experience great care must be exercised in formulating them…

Take ‘God is Love.’ for example … Very nice and all that … But if this is a governing concept that you have decided to use, it is important to bear in mind (‘crucial to bear in mind’ might be better) that this short sentence has an entirely different meaning from, ‘Love is God.’  …

To believe that they are ‘the same thing’ is to misunderstand that the word ‘is’ here signifies equivalence, as opposed to it being deterministic…

So, in the case of understanding the word ‘is’ here as signifying an equivalence, it would obviously not matter then which way round you put the first and last words here, because this sentence will mean the same thing either way (‘God is love’ would mean exactly the same thing as ‘Love is God’); rather than seeing that the word ‘is’ here as a determinant – in which case ‘love’ is merely one of God’s characteristics, and thus ‘love’ and ‘God’ do not mean the same thing here…

So it is important to remember, that if you don’t take the trouble initially, to be absolutely sure as to what it is that your ‘governing concept’ means to you,  you can soon land yourself in all sorts of trouble.

As in fact can be seen here in this (surely) not very complex three-word sentence.

 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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This last post of mine does ‘go on quite a bit’ though I’m afraid – even more than the others. But as it is also far more ‘fragmented’ than usual I can tell you that this is actually a lot more like the ‘real’ me. That is, it’s the one you would both ‘observe’ out there in the world, and also ‘in here’ in the privacy of ‘my mind’ – particularly when it comes to the manner in which I go about attempting to process ideas and formulate concepts …

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I have never experienced any of my attempts at formulating even a relatively simple concept that I believed, or intuited, was going to be really important to me, as merely some sort of ‘stroll in the park’ .. Actually, these attempts of mine have always seemed to me to have been far more like trying to collect together the scattered pieces of a jig-saw puzzle; intuitively deciding that I have subsequently managed to find them all (or most of them – at least to be going on with): and then attempting to construct the meaningful picture that I just knew was there in the first place…. without the help of the picture on the lid…

Regrettably though, I am often prone to picking up the same piece time after time. And as a direct consequence of doing so, I – more often than not – will eventually become far too frustrated for my own good – because I just can’t seem to figure out where it’s supposed to go! …

The relatively lengthy process of preparing all the posts for this blog has been something of a similar experience for me… But I should also quickly add, that doing so has provided me with a (yet another) valuable exercise.…

And if you also manage to get something useful out of all this? … Well, that’s entirely your affair..

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And whether others who have decided to engage in solving their own puzzle down here are doing so by for example (and making use of the same metaphor): ‘Thinking’ – that is, by examining each piece very carefully, and then deciding, after much deliberation and careful consideration, that it goes ‘there’; ‘Sensation’ this is, that this piece is, or is not, the same color as that one, or that it is, or is not, the right shape to fit in there; ‘Intuition’ – that is, “I just know that piece goes there,”  etc. etc.  is not really all that interesting to me – at least in any hierarchical sense… That is, I don’t view any particular method (or deliberated approach) as being necessarily ‘superior’ to any other here – although I am inclined to examine other methods in search of useful tips.   …So it’s ‘horses for courses’ for me then, you might say.

And thus, I don’t value one method over another then.. “If it Works, it Works” …

And how it is that you freely chose to arrive at your ‘destination’ is primarily your affair I would say… Indeed, you might find the metaphor of ‘a journey’ of absolutely no use to you here whatsoever..

The only thing I would add here is that, however you chose to go about Working, ‘Time is of the essence’ – no matter how you decide to go about things..

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Over the past couple of years I have come to privately view this blog of mine as a sort of ‘Pata-Blog’ .

“And what is that exactly?” you might ask… Well it means that this blog is an account of sorts, of some of my imaginary solutions to some of my  imaginary problems (particularly the intellectual ones).

Or – another way that I might put it – It’s my attempt to elaborate upon the metaphysics of what I believe are a number of personally experienced synchronicities.

NOTE: The founder of Pataphysics, a Frenchman by the name of Alfred Jarry, claimed that “Pataphysics is ‘The science of the particular’…(A)nd so it does not, therefore, study the rules governing the general recurrence of a periodic incident (the expected case), so much as study the games governing the special occurrence of a sporadic accident (the unexpected case)… Pataphysics is then, above all, the science of the particular – despite the common opinion that the only science is that of the general.” …

And if all that hasn’t put you off entirely ….

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“The power of self deception is great in the case of all men, but I incline to think that it is greatest in the case of a popular official such as a Bishop, who never hears anything but his own voice, and the sycophantic acclamations which it evokes.”

Herbert Henry Henson
From ‘Retrospective On An  Unimportant Life”

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What did I keep on doing when I found myself face-to-face – yet again – with one of those fundamental personal problems of mine that I didn’t ever seem able to quite get a handle on?  

Well, I came to see (at the point when I realized what was going on here) that I had very carefully constructed my life such that, when this situation did arise (and I came to realize that it did so very frequently), then l was very quickly able to put myself in the position of ‘discovering’ yet ‘another’, (that is to say a ‘different’) problem – and one that was not necessarily trivial either! …

But importantly, this ‘other’ problem was one that I believed I could get a handle on …

And so I could then keep on telling myself that I was … justifiably … “Simply far too busy at the moment doing really important stuff”… but that, “I would get right onto that other big problem, the very next time that it reared its ugly head.” … … (Repeat endlessly)…

Did this realization re my fallen state mean that I was now in a position to finally, once and for all, put a stop to all this self-deception? … Of course it didn’t!!! 


From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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“What will they tell you is really going on? … ‘In the now’… Right this minute? … Well!… That would be whatever they happen to believe is going on right now.. Which of course they are liable to completely deny was going on in the very next moment… Now claiming – just as fervently – that they find that they no longer believe it! …

However! … Don’t mistake these changes in belief to be an indication that they have necessarily become more insightful…Regrettably all that this change usually means, is that they have simply discarded one dimly understood view, or fashionable facile ideology, for yet another.”

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“… Most of them here are vain to the point of absurdity….(He pauses to listen)  What is ‘vanity’? … It’s a word we use to describe their ability to live almost continually in some imaginary future or other… A future in which they picture themselves as being somehow indispensable!”

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(A)nd this ‘humanity’ of theirs, that some of them are so fond of going on about? … Well the degree to which they possess any – and most of them don’t – can of course only be gauged by their interaction with others… By their ‘relationships’, as they call them…

And the interesting part about these relationships of theirs is the way that they will, initially, spent most of their time and energy clawing their way up that ladder to make damn sure that they are ‘in the right profession’ or ‘living in the right area’… and so ‘Meeting the right people .. people like me’ then. So that they can enjoy ‘proper’ relationships …(He pauses an snorts with laughter) …  With cardboard mirror images of themselves! 

Many of those who have a desire to live, what they and interested members of the audience like to fantasize, is a ‘spiritual life’ will scurry off to some ‘retreat’ as they like to call these places, usually located in some rural backwater or other, in order to, “Live very, very, simply … somewhere nice, with others of like mind.” Often dressing up in some sort of ‘simple’ uniform or other, or entirely in white  …With the result that, in no time at all, they will be wandering around convinced that the world, “Isn’t such a bad place after all,” and that other people, “Aren’t really that bad once you get to really know them.”

But their conclusions here … their subsequent behavior here … is hardly surprising is it? (He pauses to listen).. And it can be really irritating… Particularly when it then comes to the manner in which they presume to then dish out advice to ‘needy others’ down here…. And there are literally hundreds of millions of those, who are for example, starving in East Africa; or who live in a war-zone in the Middle-East; or find themselves at the wrong end of things, simply by being born into a slave-state such as India …

But then, most ‘civilized beings’ here are brim-full with all sorts of ‘helpful advice’ for those who are ‘less fortunate’ than themselves out there… Provided of course that their toilets are still flushing; they have clean water coming out of their taps; the car is full of petrol; and there is plenty of food available in the shops…(He pauses to listen)

Well… And if it does all suddenly – for one reason or another – start to ‘Go South’, as they might put it down here? … Then almost all of them will – overnight, and almost certainly – ‘simply’ revert to type…”

Fragment(s) from “Field Notes for Armageddon” by Bob Hardy

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If you were to ask me to summarize my various attempts at engaging with specific concepts of  Eugene Halliday’s, or anyone else’s, for that matter… (An activity by the way, that I would only ever attempt to engage in if I believed that it would help me to answer those questions that seem to have been with me for as long as I can remember)… I would tell you that, in order to answer you satisfactorily, I would have to elaborate upon my various attempts at Working.. But – in my case at least – this is an activity that doesn’t really lend itself to “summarizing”.   .…

However, if you continued to press me here then I would say, that at the very least, my approach has always been most definitely, ‘heuristic’…. That is to say, I tend to sketch out a ‘course of action’ – which I then refer to as a ‘system’…

And it was only ever my subsequent belief in the practicality of any one of these particular ‘systems’ (in Eugene Halliday’s sense of the word) that would induce me to at least attempt to then go on to make use of it …

So there is no simple ‘blind-faith’ for me here, either in the construction of, or in the decision to make use of, one these systems then.

I should also add here that this somewhat pedantic and cautious approach of mine here has come about, because I believe the process of deliberating about any system that I do decide to implement is such an essential initial component of Working, that I want to be as clear as I believe I possibly can be, before I commit myself to it ..

So I certainly would never take on board a concept simply because the person relaying it to me had a reputation with others for trotting out ‘important truths’ – whoever they were, and whatever it was… As Pontius Pilate so eloquently put it, “Who gives a f**k about ‘the nature of truth’? … I’m trying to manage a particularly unruly, smelly, disgusting, backward, and relatively minor Roman province here!”

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But the fact that my initial approach to any system that I make use of is always ‘heuristic’, doesn’t really tell you anything about the ‘actual matter’ of any of these systems of mine… Like, for example, the ‘how’, or the ‘why’ here… Or anything about ‘the background’ …Does it?

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And, to further complicate matters here,  I would also have to tell you that whether it were possible for some hypothetical system or other – be that one which attempts to make practical use of Eugene Halliday’s concepts (or anyone else’s for that matter) – to function as some sort of ‘panacea’. Which is to say it would be a system that claimed it could ‘do the business’ in all instances, by maintaining  – for example, that ‘We’re all living in a Matrix-like virtual-reality simulacrum’ or ‘All you need is love’, or something else that will conveniently fit onto a car-bumper sticker, or that will make a really fetching tattoo  – is not something I’ve really given all that much serious thought to… At least not since the mid-1980’s.

Also, the research that I conducted during the latter half of the first decade of the present millennium into a number of those who claimed to have spent a major part of their lives intent on discovering such a system (one that they claimed involved Eugene Halliday’s concepts) has led me firmly to the conclusion that they clearly never managed to find it.. And that if they did claim they had, then – at least from my perspective – they were at best, merely deluding themselves… Although perhaps I should very quickly add here that a very small number of them here who did appear to be able to regurgitate a great deal of Eugene Halliday’s material with reasonable accuracy… But to what actual purpose these efforts served them, when it came to them living out their own lives, was something that I was never satisfactorily able to discover… Clue: “All the world’s a stage…”

And I would also have to add here that – importantly for me at least –  I don’t happen to believe in concepts such as ‘The philosophers stone’, or ‘The diamond body’, or even ‘My eternal soul’ – because these concepts don’t make that much sense to me at all (I have never been able to realistically ‘ground’  any of the explanations on offer here)… Although I will admit that I have found the elaboration of concepts such as these to have been intensely interesting, at various times in my life….

By the way, this view of mine also applies to important concepts of Eugene Halliday’s, such as  ‘All that there is, is sentient power’, or that ‘Love’ is ‘working for the development of the potential in all being’… Which is to say that – in my opinion – these concepts are all well and good … But only up to a point…

Thus, it is in the areas of ‘inquiry’ and ‘explanation’, rather than those of ‘definitive’ and ‘conclusive’, that I tend to situate most of Eugene Halliday’s concepts..

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So – for me at least –  it’s any system that is serving my purpose for the time being then  …. And “When it no longer ‘does the business,” you might be tempted to ask? .. Well, then I ditch it…

And if I subsequently discovered that I was going in the wrong direction as a direct result of one of my decisions here? … Well, primarily – and most importantly I believe – I’m more than happy with the idea that this would be my sole responsibility, as I was clearly the one who had initially freely chosen to take it on board…

But I would also claim the good news here is that, as a direct consequence of my behavior (as a direct consequence of my pursuit of this particular course of action, that is) I will now have in my possession a pattern of embodied experiences that could provide the substance of a really valuable lesson… One that I could now reflect upon… and one that has the real possibility of revealing something really useful about myself, to myself… Should I have the courage (or be bothered) to do so, that is…

 So I now also have to reveal to you then, that from my point of view, engaging in Work – even if it’s the ‘wrong’ Work – will always be potentially capable of producing a positive result… And thus, that any attempt to Work – at least as far as I’m concerned – is capable of producing … in actual fact … and  in reality …  a ‘win-win’ scenario! …

…. Magic!

But this perspective of mine here re Work, I would agree, could possibly – at least initially – be very confusing to others .. And this I believe, is because Work is nearly always imagined to be a process wherein one is attempting to ‘do’ something (“We ‘do’ our ‘Encounter Group’ session on Monday evenings.”; “I do my Yoga exercises every day.”; I always read a passage from the Bible before I go to sleep.”: “I practice the banjo every morning for at least half-an-hour,” etc.) – the end result (the essential motive here) nearly always seems to me to something like, “Aren’t I wonderful! … Clever me! … I know lots about this … I am doing that now!”; These activities constitute the accomplishment of tasks in my world (“Well done me!”), and are not examples of Working then, which is a process whereby one is attempting to ‘become’ something…  A different aim entirely … 🙂 …

I would say then that the only thing I’m really interested in, or the only criteria I will use here in any attempt to evaluate others re their claims to be Working (which is a situation that I have very, very, rarely ever got to with others) is just how able they are becoming at … ‘doing’ …. themselves..

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And why is it that I attempt to Work? … Well it provides a definitive proof for me that I have ‘purpose’ … Ergo, “There is ‘purpose’ in the Universe.” … … …  But, please note, I’m not claiming here that, “The Universe has (a) purpose,” because I have no idea what that might mean. Only that, “I have a purpose.” … … “Sufficient onto the day,” and all that …  🙂 ..

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But anyway, to repeat once again, “(T)he fact that my initial approach to any system that I make use of is always ‘heuristic’, doesn’t really tell you anything about the ‘actual matter’ of any of these systems of mine. Like, for example, the ‘how’, or the ‘why’ here… Or anything about ‘the background’ …Does it?

So now, here’s a something about that…. After the commercial break.

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Eugene Halliday had a very neat way of defining ‘stupid’ behavior, which was to the effect that, “For the stupid, everything is dictated to solely by  circumstance (sic).”

So he obviously isn’t claiming that everything stupid people do will necessarily appear to others as stupid. But rather that, as there is no reflexive decision-making process actually taking place here (but only ever a reaction) the perceived consequences (as far as any observer would judge them that is) could in fact ‘go either way’.

That is … then … that any behavior (together with the consequent result of that behavior) … that is itself under consideration, might come to be viewed – from the point of view of an external observer at least – as either dumb, or smart.

And although any particular consequence of behaving stupidly (from this perspective at least) might appear to some observer or other to be, in fact, ‘really’ intelligent…That judgment is only ever ‘The luck of the draw’, as it were… Which is weird when you try to get your head round it. 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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What sorts of things have to be in place before I’m satisfied that a particular system is worth using? … Do I have a definite way of going about discovering/constructing systems, that is? …  …  Well the short answer to that is, “Yes, I do.”  But even so, I do always find it a very difficult thing to do – in fact it can take me years.

It’s rather like trying to formulate that ‘right question’. A task that – no matter how long it takes – I, thankfully, seem to be relentlessly able to stick to.

And, as a consequence, I have come to believe that if I am successful in my formulation(s) here, then the answer that I seek will, quite often now, be ‘just around the corner’… Or, at very least, this question of mine that I have struggled to formulate will be experienced by me as a ‘light in the darkness’ that I can now use to move forward here, should I choose to do so.

So it isn’t so much that I go about constructing a system in order to do something; but more like clarifying to myself what it is that has to be done.

To put that a little more mysteriously perhaps. One of the major purposes of Working for me is that it will reveal to me those particular questions that have, up to now, been obscured by all my previous answers..  

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Anyway, the first bit of my system building is – I would say – relatively simple, and I could argue that it is also the most important to grasp… So if you’re remotely interested in what I maintain it is that I’m trying to accomplish, here’s something a little more concrete about that.

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Initially at least, I tend to ‘dither’ (See below) because I don’t have any hard-and-fast concrete methodology for formulating systems… I like to keep my options open, you might say..

What I definitely ‘do’ though, is to worry  away at something particular (and this could go on for years) until I get to ‘see where it is’ – that is, where it is appearing in my life. ..

I will then take the odd peep at it – sometimes by recalling one of these ‘appearances’, but more often now as time goes on, by ‘catching myself’ in one of these situations, either ‘part of the way through’ (“Hey, you’re doing that again!”), or as I ‘incline’ into it. Catching this ‘inclination’ at the moment that it arises in me now becomes the ‘tipping point’ here. That is, it is the point where it is now possible for me to experience these occurrences ‘in the now’ (that is reflexively), and so I can move onto the next stage..

Importantly though, I can become so pleased with myself at this point, that I will now fall back into a reactive state, and then attempt to move on here too quickly. And as a direct result of doing so, I am almost certain to miss, or disregard, important features… … Failed again then!

And also, at some point after this, if things are going well in that I can maintain that reflexive state a bit more frequently, I now experience a change of pace in my desire to increase the frequency of my attempts to Work here… And I will start to obsess about it, such that it will now begin to consume a great deal of my time – even interfering (and sometimes radically) with other aspects of my day-to-day life … Another trip-up that has to be avoided then.

And, as I say, I don’t experience these later stages of Working as impositions necessarily, often they make me feel like flying. But, again, this is a state in which I am also in danger of missing important features – because I’m now ‘enjoying myself’ so much.. Us musical types call this state ‘the rush’ … 🙂 .. And this is another illusion here – or another ‘temptation’ for me if you like

But here’s the important bit. At some point during this process (and I have various ways of attempting to move it along here)  I will start to realize that a particular word, or group of words, is of really major importance to me here…And I will subsequently  begin to examine this word (or these words) from every angle…

One of the ways that I do this – and I think it’s possibly the most important aspect of what I do here initially – is that I will attempt to incorporate this word(s) into my everyday speech; into my various descriptions to myself and my attitudes, my emotions, and my social behavior, etc, until I feel I have obtained a substantial meaning for this word(s) that I now experience as belonging to me… A meaning that I can now instantly – and with little effort – relate to. And if I subsequently bring up this word in consciousness, it will now have a rich ‘bank’ of associations that I can easily ‘see’ with very little effort, and that I can now use to create patterns that can potentially bring me to places that I want to go to, and that will then go on to become richer and richer in their useful detail….This is actually what a ‘spell’ is by the way…

(It’s OK if you don’t agree with me about that … but – take it from me – that’s what a ‘Spell’ actually is. And it is why, if you don’t keep on top of them, by making use of them continually, you can very quickly get rusty) …

Then I can move back to that initial ‘worry’ of mine and I can now see it from the perspective of this word(s) with a great deal more (and with an increasing) clarity.

The metaphor I use for this process is that of a ‘journey’. And my task is one of attempting to move forward… But what I’m doing isn’t really a ‘journey’ – like, say, going to the Isle of Man for my summer holidays… It’s sort of like the same way that alchemists knew that there wasn’t really a two-headed green lion; or a couple of ravens; or the odd member of royalty, etc. etc. hanging around in that old jam-jar that they were using to conduct their various experiments in. (But you might be surprised to discover just how many modern ‘New-Age’ chumps actually think there really were ‘things going on in there’) … These symbolic images (as opposed to, say, chemical signs) were simply useful metaphors, and so, regrettably perhaps, there were no real dragons etc. in there – even if you base your views here on such authoritative texts as ‘Lord of The Rings’ ‘or the ‘Harry Potter’ books: even if you’ve gone to all the trouble of having an Orc tattoo placed around your bicep … … (As an aside here though, I for one would be over the moon if there really were dragons, and all that other stuff!) … So … anyway … I have to continually bear in mind that really I’m not going anywhere, but that (ideally if I can manage it) I’m only ever ‘Here: Now’ ….

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But, to get on with it.. The ‘initial important word’ for me here – at least where it concerns the explanation that I want to present in this post concerning my approach to formulating a system, is one that I have to experience with an ‘in the now’ definitive state of a positive quality or (if it makes it easier to understand) the experiencing of a very positive state of “Yes!” ‘…

And that word is ‘invest’

I will first of all sketchily map out a dialectical base-line … Because this approach gives me a definite direction to go in; a definite experience of being orientated, that is..

And this line then, in this particular case, is bounded at one end, by the word ‘invest’ …

And I now begin to examine the degree to which I experience myself ‘investing’ here, up until the point where I begin to experience a state where I want to  ‘divest’…which first appears as a vague state of ‘No!’ that will get stronger, until it results in action on my part.

The limit of the application of the term ‘System” then (in Eugene Halliday’s sense of this term) but only from this one perspective, is bounded dialectically here by the meaning (note – not ‘the definition of’ or ‘the etymological root’ or ‘phonic definitions of the various sounds that I might claim are connected to the English spelling of these words) that I give to these two words.

And so (and I think obviously) you should now be able to see clearly that you cannot use any part of this system of mine yourself, until you do the necessary Work here.. And simply telling yourself and others that, “I understand this stuff you know,” (which is actually a misuse of the term ‘understand’) or any other such sterile clap-trap, will actually not help you here at all!..In fact it will probably prevent you from going anywhere … And not God, not Jesus, not Mohammad, not Buddha etc et al , can take this step for you … Because … well… where would the fun be in that for them? … Only you are able to initiate a process, and then subsequently involve yourself in it, such that it will give your life any meaning down here.. And no one, or no thing, can force you to do so…. Interesting though, you can appear to convincingly ‘fake it’ as far as others (and more interestingly perhaps, yourself) are concerned  .. And you might be surprised to learn that I have met a goodly few who actually do just that…. And, even more mysterious here, some of these don’t have the faintest idea that this is what they are really up to.

Anyway – having satisfied myself that I am now in the right starting place here – from this particular perspective at least – I tell myself that “I’ve managed to nail it at last!”..  and will then immediately take the next Sunday off.

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‘To dither’ (OED – To vacillate, to act indecisively, to waver between different opinions or courses of action). What a wonderfully appropriate verb to use in describing so much of what goes on down here.. ‘dithering’…

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Here’s a personal metaphor of mine that I use to further understand what ‘the limits of the application of the term ‘system’ (in Eugene Halliday’s sense of that term) might mean for me….

An old fashioned treadle sewing machine can be viewed as a Dynamic System. In that you can take it all apart, and reasonably figure out how it all works. So much so, that you can even become a sewing machine repair man, and know ‘everything that there is to know about mechanical sewing machines’… Going on to confidently claim that you can totally predict their behavior; and that you’ve never been stumped by any of your repair jobs….

‘The Weather’ is also a dynamic system. However it is more properly referred to as  an Emergent System, which means that you can’t take it apart bit by bit (you can’t take a thunder-storm apart). But you can become a meteorologist and so collect data (i.e. Various dynamic parameters concerning a particular weather pattern – such as humidity, wind velocity, etc).

And even if you weren’t a meteorologist, if I pointed to an isolated cloud in an almost cloudless sky, and then asked you to point to were you think it’s going to be in ten seconds time, you could do so with reasonable accuracy.. In this case you are what is referred to as an ‘idiot’ – which is Latin for someone who is a member of ‘the rank and file’ and not really ‘in the know’ like ‘the experts’ here.. But you are capable of ‘getting a vague idea of the big picture’.

However a weather system is chaotic, which means (non-technically) that you can’t predict with anything approaching certainty what it’s going to be like in a couple of days (or even a couple of hours in many cases), no matter how much information (data) you have been able to collect…. Even though, the day after today, you could confidently tell us all with almost total certainty, why it was that we had that sudden rainstorm yesterday… A rainstorm that for some reason or other you somehow failed to predict the week before, or even the day before …

IMPORTANT NOTE HERE: By the way, for folks like me – if you’re interested – I view an academic field such as  ‘Economics’  as a particular form of emergent system. And to me it also has a great deal in common with ‘Astrology’ – which I refer to particularly as a ‘pseudo-emergent system’… So ‘Economics’ is not an emergent system like ‘The Weather’ to me then, it’s more like a ‘pseudo-emergent system’… That is, even though, as in the case of Astrology, a great deal of extremely accurate geometrical calculation is required; and in the case of Economics an in-depth understanding of both statistical analysis and calculus is required; nevertheless they are both, at best, only ever ‘sort of” good at telling us all why something turned out the way it did, after the event. And even different ‘experts” (or ‘schools’, as those who have invested a great deal here are fond of calling them)  in either field will often violently disagree as to the cause of some major feature or other (which I always thought would send a great big alarm-bell off in everyone’s head, just like it does in mine); and they also will invariably miss really big things that are going to happen in their futures – such as atomic bombs going off (in the case of Astrologers); or world financial melt-downs (in the case of Economists)… None the less, many people will still cling to their various ‘predictions’ as if they were gospel. … (And again that should tell us all something basic about people … 🙂 …) … …. Although, to make things really complicated here, rabid fans of both of these ‘disciplines’ that claim some ability to be able to predict the future, will always insist that someone in their gang did predict lots of this stuff – but that they were subsequently ignored or mis-understood… Reminding me of those soccer fans who can always explain why it was that their favorite team lost 25-nil in terms that seem to suggest that they were actually, far and away, the better team ‘really’..

FURTHER NOTE HERE: If you are unlucky though, or you persist in hanging about with the wrong crowd, you will invariably get some witchy-poo, or wizard, or other shaman type, who will claim something here along the lines of, “What about that prediction of  Nostradamus’s  where he says there will be “A great big bang over there”; or (even worse) some sacred scripture that says, “I am come! The destroyer of worlds.” … And in these cases, you will have to make your own mind up about the particular appropriateness in any particular instance of this ‘evidence’… But from my perspective, if your decision here is to ‘sit on the fence’, this is going to tell me far more about how your head works, than it does about the accuracy of what you consider to be the ‘evidence’.

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Anyway… to carry on about my decision-making process here…. As a direct consequence of the above way of viewing systems (a perspective that I don’t believe Eugene Halliday particularly appreciated by the way) I have to first of all decide what the system is for.

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So I will now – to show you what I mean here –  imagine that I have constructed two systems. One that is designed to:
a). Improve my chess skills
b). Help me to develop my musical improvisational skills….

I will now attempt to describe why viewing systems that I am imagining here (that I am going  to attempt to Work with) as ‘Dynamic’ or ‘Emergent’ provides another means to me of situating them in some sort of ‘space’. That is, not on some ‘dialectical base-line’ – as was the case with the two words Invest/Divest.

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LIVERPOOL JOKE

Punter One: “I hear you’re only losing half the money on the horses that you used to … Punter Two (enthusiastically) : “Yes! … And that’s because I’m using a new system!”

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System a)  To improve my chess skills. 

NOTE: I would also, importantly, initially refer to this system a) here, as ‘ritualistic’… A word that constitutes yet another dialectical pole of a pair of designators that I usually make use of in order to further identify – and thus give meaning to – the particular characteristics that serve to structure any system that I am in the process of constructing… Characteristics that I will almost always be attempting to clarify to myself before I attempt to begin Working here…  However, I will not be supplying any further details about this word here, because it is not really essential to this present explanation of mine.

To soldier on then… This system a) is constructed primarily of a couple of rather rigid ‘rules’ – thus making it a bounded (or constricted) system for me. Meaning that I will view it as almost completely mechanical – and therefore ‘deterministic’

To supply some particular detail here, the first thing that I would do is memorize  the ‘rules governing the game of chess’. And the second thing that I would do is study these rules ‘in act’ – by analyzing sequences of moves that have been used successfully by Chess Masters in previous major tournaments…

Nothing remarkable at all about this approach then.

But it is important for you to bear in mind here that this system is being used by me only to ‘improve’ my chess skills, and not to become, say, a future Grand Master, or anything ridiculous like that. 

This difference however, does show you that the way in which you initially ‘label’ any system you intend to use (the words that you chose to involve in the title you give it – as with my use of the word ‘improve’ here)  is also of immense importance… And you really do need to exercise a great deal of care in doing so, because if you are sloppy at this point, and you haven’t exercised enough care when laying down your foundation, you can very soon get yourself tied up in all sorts of knots, which will result in you almost certainly marching off in the wrong direction.

So this system is ‘dynamic’ for me then…  But do you see that it’s entirely possible that if I were to relate all this to someone else, they would claim that I am stretching the meaning  of ‘dynamic’ here – at least as far as they are concerned? … For instance, they might say, “Whatever you do, you will never really know what move your opponent is actually going to make next.” To which I would reply, “That is a trivial objection. My opponent will always be confined to a finite set of rules – which is the reason why any Grand Master can now be beaten by a machine that can run the appropriate computer program… And anyway, you have misunderstood the whole point of my system here – I am not trying to predict my opponents moves. Rather, I am attempting to make my ‘return move’ wholly deterministic – a different aim entirely!”   …

But however anyone else wants to view any particular system that I am making use of is normally OK with me anyway, because – in practical terms -Working has an essential major (though not entirely)  hermeneutical component… And it is so full of risks anyway, that any approach to it has to be completely the responsibility – both in its conception and the subsequent engagement in – of the person freely committing themselves to it… The level to which I would actually formulate a text to explain my choice of system to others is my own private concern – and I am not in the habit of investing any more effort in this direction than my aim warrants… If I Work with a system by, in part, using my intuition, and so not necessarily engaging in thinking, or verbalizing, then this is what I will do. And I will very rarely go ‘back to check’ because I don’t have to. My intuitive function works fine for me, and I have grown to trust it… Although it obviously does let me down from time to time – particularly if my actions are conditioned by, say, too much ambition – but these occasions are not frequent enough for me to lose faith in it.

So then, if any particular person prefers to only engage in endless debates about the merits (or perceived lack of merits) of any particular system, then that’s their business as far as I’m concerned. But it’s not an activity that I have much use for… I am only interested in the ‘use value’ of any system. Particularly as I already understand that it is always possible for some observer or other to point out the (rather obvious) limits of any deterministic system anyway. And actually I am more than capable of doing that for myself, thank you..  What is important though is why they would chose do so. And in my experience that’s usually so they can show me what a ‘smart-arse’ they are…

But – on the bright side here – if I do decide to make use of a particular system (even if I have constructed it so that it appears to be completely deterministic) … then, even so, it’s me that gets to have all the fun here.

System b). Help me to develop my musical improvisational skills….

This system I would view as an ’emergent’ ….

There are however, any number of deterministic dynamic parameters contained in it that might be worthwhile for you to ponder…. These would include, for example: The way that you twiddle your fingers when you play – that is, your ‘lousy; reasonable; or excellent technique’; Your degree of understanding re ‘Music Theory’ – “I’m extremely fluent in the use of ‘chromatic substitution’…”: Your preference for a ‘melodic’, over a strictly ‘chord/scale’ based line here; etc. etc…

However, in my book at least, there must always be a profound sense in which there will often be places when you will be ‘improvising’, where you have no idea what the next musical phrase that you play is going to be …

And also it is important to realize that any system which claims to aid improvisational technique will always contain suggestions such as, ‘play with a hard swing feel’ or ‘play with a ‘blues feel’..’ – which any competent musician will interpret in their own particular unique way.. … A way that, even to a particular listener here who is familiar with this particular musician’s ‘style’, will have no way of predicting… But very soon after our musician begins to play, our listener here will be liable to say, “Oh! That’s so-and-so … I can tell by the way that she ……..(Fill in blank)..”

If I claim that this system is ’emergent’, does that mean then that I am claiming you can, sort-of ‘improvise infinitely’ then? … Well, no I’m not, because one of the parameters of creative playing is ‘style’… That is, the better that you become at improvising, the more that you will come to ‘sound only like yourself’ …

And as you gain some skill in making use of this system, so you will be conscious that you are having definite practical results here…

You will also find that there are two dialectical poles that you will can situate yourself between in order to Work as you move forward  ..

At one end you will be bound by an approach where you are mechanically just ‘running the changes’ – the point at which you are merely playing up and down appropriate scales that you have simply memorized – usually accompanied by you pursing your lips, or wearing a rather constipated look on your face to indicate (you imagine) that you possess some sort of ‘sensitivity’ here; and at the other end you will be attempting to ‘play free’ – often accompanying this attempt of yours with diverse body twitchings, which you imagine will demonstrate that you are now ‘out of it’ and thus ‘free of it’… …  I will just mention here that ‘playing free’ demands far more self-discipline than most people (including myself) are capable of mustering, and it isn’t at all about playing just anything that you ‘like’ or ‘want to’ or ‘feel’… which any competent musician can fake for half a minute or so. Playing ‘free’ is far more complex than that, and depends on an in-depth ‘in-the-now’ …’grasp’ (notice that’s a ‘not-free’ word 🙂 … ) of what it is that you are attempting to be ‘free’ from.

So then, as regards the ‘matter’ of any emergent system…. There must be some essential characteristic to its aim that is indefinable linguistically then… And that (using this particular example of an emergent system here) can only be demonstrated musically, in ‘itself’ – in act. That is, in the doing ….. experientially …such that it is only after it is played that the attempt can be made to analyze it, or pondered over it, by others… Which then allows teachers like me to answer questions such as, “What did she do then at the beginning of that next chorus?” … And to which I might reply by saying something along the lines of, “Well, you see, if you wind the tape back to the beginning of that chorus, you can now clearly hear that she played ‘outside’ for two bars; continued on modally, up until the point that she modulated up that minor third…” etc. etc… But there was no way that I could ever have predicted, actually, what she was going to do there, even if I had been present at the actual performance… However, you should be able to appreciate that my subsequent analysis is completely ‘deterministic’ anyway (And also has something importantly to do with ‘abstracting’ – another important word in all this – but, like that word ‘ritualistic’, not one I will be going to go into here right now either 🙂 …)

NOTE: I tend to think of those techniques which might aid me in my  attempt to understand the ‘What’ of a system, as rather like weapons that aid me to ‘fight the good fight’ … That is, very handy to have around – but still only ever an aid that I must still actively engage with; and so not some sort of ‘automatic solution to everything’.

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A further analogy of mine now re Emergent Systems, that might help throw some more light on things for the non-musical buffs … That of dancing.

Although there are rules: perhaps a special way of dressing; perhaps a particular piece, or a special form of music must be played; perhaps you do (or don’t) have to dance with a partner; perhaps, initially at least, you must memorize (internalize) an intricate set of dance steps, by committing them to ‘muscle memory’….etc

Even if you do manage all of the above (and maybe even more), none of what you do is going to necessarily guarantee that you will ever turn out to be a good dancer. … Although you will probably become extremely competent.

However, in the event that you do turn out to be a good dancer, then it could be claimed of you, by others, that when you dance you are merely doing all those things that you were taught, or that you have taught yourself.

However you could also now maintain that, ” I don’t really use any of that stuff now… At least not ‘like that’ anyway.”

… And if anyone were to insist that you tell them what exactly it is you are doing by asking you’, “Just what were you doing just then?” You would certainly be justified in replying – and would also be providing them with a complete answer – if you replied, “I don’t really know… To tell you the truth… I was …  just … dancing.”

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To claim that you do make use of a system, means to me that you can at least attempt explain what it is that you might mean here by grounding any explanation you give in a number of  uniquely personal anecdotes..

Attempting to construct personal texts (written or verbal) here then, usually by making (obvious) use of ‘language’..

However, you can also do so by, for example, using some form of graphic medium – say a drawing or painting… In which case the importance of ‘interpretation’ here becomes a lot clearer… As does the question of whether or not any observer here is merely ‘reacting to’ as opposed to ‘reflecting upon’ your efforts.

Ultimately this means (at least as far as I’m concerned) that there  are no ‘Universal meanings’; no ‘one size fits all’ then.. And so attempts at exhaustively explaining a concept such as ‘Working with this system’ are doomed to failure – because there will always (thankfully) be something left out; or some perspective illuminated by this explanation that is somehow distorted… etc. etc. … Which is the reason why poets are never satisfied with their creations… If you’re interested.

However if you are Working, and you meet someone else who is also Working .. You always instantly know.

Useful to always bear in mind here – the meaning Eugene Halliday’s gives to that term ‘stupid’…

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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“So – when they’re busy telling me what they think it’s really going on down here? …What it is the substance of what they actually tell me, do you mean? …..(He pauses to listen). Well, in the main, they are attempting to describing observations that arise from a system that they’ve clobbered together from their own extremely limited experiences together with their contemplations of … their whimsical musings over … various ‘News Items’ from the popular press that have managed to take their fancy… (He pauses to listen)… Well the first question I would ask myself re these various ‘explanations’ of theirs is, “Does this person actually believe that they really know what’s going on ‘all the way down’ here.  That is, do they imagine … or sincerely believe… that they ‘have an answer for everything’… Is their system ‘dynamic’ then… Which would then of course make them materialists… Which is something that they might probably be the first to deny… And in which case – in my view – I would say that they would be deluding themselves… …  Or do they see this system of theirs as ’emergent’ – in which case what use do they think it is to them? … How do they factor the consequences of this view of theirs into their journey through life? Are they happy with this lack of absolute certainty…. Or am I, once again, listening to yet another loud-mouthed plonker.” …(He pauses to laugh).

Fragment from “Field Notes for Armageddon” by Bob Hardy

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I don’t want to complicate things in this first part unnecessarily, but I should tell you that if you are  Working with ANY system, then you are engaging in ACT OF ABSTRACTION … In that you have chosen to treat part of the emergent system that I believe we all really are (our ‘life’ if you like) as a dynamic system…You are behaving towards it as if it were composed of parts.

But I would also add that I would be sympathetic to the idea here that the situation you have chosen to Work with must be very important to you, otherwise you wouldn’t have felt the need to abstract it, in order to examine it, and to perhaps change it…

The only word of advice I would perhaps add from my own experiences here, is that you should watch out for any hubris flying about… Because it might be that this really important problem, that you obviously believe you do have is only important to you. And that someone else might view a problem like this in their lives as trivial…  …

And it’s important for your authentic self to understand that this problem you are now intent on probing here, might not be a consequence of this hurricane that you like to believe you have now innocently found yourself  to be in the middle of; but could also be the result of you simply hanging about inertically in the same place for far too long – until this problem of yours has automatically (deterministically) manifested itself… But actually it really started with that butterfly flapping its wings in China… At which point it would have been far easier for you to tackle… But you couldn’t be bothered at the time could you? … Or you will tell everyone that you have been far too busy with some other ‘important problem’ of yours.

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And by the way, that problem which is so important to you – and that you now find has to abstracted from your life and systematized by you, in order for you to properly examine it… or at least to make some attempt at dealing with it … Be sure to remember to put it back where it properly belongs when you’ve finished making use of it…. 🙂

End of Part One

 

To (hopefully) be continued… Soon  🙂

Bob Hardy

11th July 2016

Portland, Oregon, USA

 

 

 

THE BAD NEWS.
Those of you who have recently attempted to use the original domain name address (eugenehalliday.com) to access the Eugene Halliday Archive site will have discovered by now that you can now no longer do so.

This is due directly to the incompetence of (or was perhaps a direct decision taken by) those who insisted – some four plus years ago – that they should be the ones to be responsible for maintaining the continued presence of the Eugene Halliday Archive on the internet (by paying the rentals due directly for this service themselves).

I would add here that I had taken care of what is really this rather trivial (but non-the-less still essential) detail here myself for the first six years of the archive’s existence with absolutely no problems. So there was no straight-forward reason that I could see at the time for anyone wanting to take it on. Although it was suggested to me directly by one of those involved here that, “I wasn’t getting any younger.”

Ever the optimist though …

What’s this? … Are these people so desperate to appear as if they’re useful here? ….

Why don’t they do something that actually helps things to move forward in some way – instead of continually fiddling about?… …

But… surely… they will be able to take on this simple task without making a complete mess of it! …

So – OK! … Why not?

Let me then – in the spirit of co-operation and positivity – agree… ‘Give it a go’ then!” …

(Were there, even then, dark clouds gathering on that distant horizon … a message to me from the ‘field’ perhaps … one that I was choosing to ignore? 🙂

How many times do you need to go through this? … Look on the positive side though – It’ll be a useful learning experience, whichever way it goes. ….etc. etc.)

... I agreed.

However, those who sought to involve themselves directly here are now apparently  no longer paying for the rental of the necessary server space…. Surprise!! Surprise!! 🙂

THE GOOD NEWS.
As I suspected that this situation would inevitably end up in one form of shambles or another from the moment that those directly involved here did ‘take over’ … (Think: ‘Couldn’t’; ‘piss-up’; and ‘brewery’, in the same sentence here, if you want to know why) …  I made ‘alternative arrangements’ for the continued presence of the Archive well over a year ago – so that those who still wished to do so could avail themselves of this material, in a way that was still – so to say – ‘cost free’ …

So the archive is now back on line.. And this will not be happening again – at least not on ‘my watch’.

Here then is the Link to Eugene Halliday archive

Or, if you prefer, you can cut and paste this address:  www.eugenehallidayarchive.info  into your browser

BTW, I would advise you to ‘bookmark’ the new site for yourselves – if only because it’s far easier to do that than to keep coming to this blog, simply in order to access the above link.

 

Bob Hardy

9th August 2015

 

 

If you do not know where you are now, you will have very little chance of getting to where it is that you imagine you would like to go next.

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I have never been particularly interested in the personality of messengers… and I was never looking for a ‘Father Figure’ either … or for a social situation…

I was simply looking for answers to my own questions… And in my search for them I always saw myself as primarily responsible for anything and everything that might happen to me as a consequence of my various attempts to find them.

Dealing with any relationships (imagined, casual, or otherwise) that may, or may not, have developed from time to time along the way, was – for the most part – of relatively minor importance to me in all of this …

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 What do I hear here most of the time (both ‘out there’ and ‘in here’)? … That would be the sound of a million rattles being tossed out of a million prams…

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On “Owning it” … and Materialism.

It’s fairly easy to understand a process whereby those who view others as being the originator(s) of ‘esoteric’ material/ideas etc. would come to view these ‘originators’ as subsequently ‘owning various ‘rights’ to these ‘creation(s)’ of theirs … Because … well … every created ‘thing’ must belong to … be the property of – to dispose of as they see fit –  ‘some’ creator or other… Mustn’t it? … … … … … Mustn’t it???

The consequences of the present Copyright Laws as they stand is sufficient to explain this … Which, after all, was the intention of the original Copyright Act – brought in at the time of Queen Anne by the Brits around 1710 during the early days of the ‘Enlightenment’ – and after which everything in the future (in Europe at least) was obviously, as a direct consequence  – going to be (so to say) ‘all plain sailing’ from now on… At long last … …

So! … “What a relief then!” … It’s all simply about ‘due process’ now … Just ‘the way it is’ – one might say… ‘Mechanical’, even… ‘Out of our hands’, so to speak… …‘Hallelujah!’ then … I suppose….

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There are those who both claim that Eugene Halliday’s ‘creations’ are, in some way, ‘Universal’ (with a capital ‘U’) while that at the same time maintaining that they ‘belonged to him’ … And subsequently, in a number of cases at least – and particularly for those who hold to this second view here – that this material has now somehow, almost magically, come to ‘belong’ to them! …. As opposed to say, believing that this material simply ‘emanated’ from him – but then, I don’t happen to believe that either.

For me, this material constitutes the ‘fruits of his labor’ – and I see him as subsequently making this freely available to all.

How others involved themselves with it – by Working with it; or attempting to own it; or distorting it to suit their own pursuit of power etc. thus becomes their responsibility entirely –as do any consequences that arise from this freely-entered-into involvement of theirs

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The problem with any belief to the effect that the ideas and concepts of Eugene Halliday ‘came through’ him; that is, that he received them in some way from what he referred to as ‘the field’ – is that this is a belief that can be held for the production of anything by anybody…

On the other hand, you could always defend the idea that he had become a vessel for these ideas by preparing himself somehow; or that he had ‘been prepared’ as a result of the efforts of others in his direct ancestral past – as a consequence of his birth and so, ‘in his DNA’ I suppose (so something of a ‘freebie’ then); or by some supernatural agency or other.

This viewpoint actually starts to becomes a little more entertaining when those involved here attempt to simultaneously advance some hashed-up version or other of these ‘received’ ideas of Eugene Halliday – while simultaneously attempting to make sure that everyone ‘knows’ that someone (or something) else was really responsible for ‘all this stuff’!…

I suspect though, that this is simply because there just might be troubling repercussions here, and …,”Well! … That would Never do!”….

A perfect example then, of that ‘monkey with its hand stuck in the jar’.

It is the difference between what it is that constitutes ‘knowledge’, as opposed to ‘wisdom’ that is crucial to any real understanding of the ‘why’ of ‘what it is’ that is going on here…

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There is overwhelming evidence to show that Eugene Halliday spend a great deal of his his time reading (I understand from a very reliable source that he did so every day) and then making notes about (or of even sometimes copying word for word) the variety of subjects contained in the many books that he read.

Regrettably though, most of the time he did not (or was even perhaps unwilling) to reveal the sources on which he based at least some of the ideas that he subsequently expounded upon, during the delivery of his various talks, or that he included in his various essays.

Nonetheless – whether you know directly of any particular source or not – it should still come as no surprise that the subsequent ideas he fashioned from these studies of his do reflect the original ideas that are contained in them. And thus they reveal, not only his own particular preferred interests (and biases), but also illuminate the zeitgeist (the ‘Aion’) out of which these ideas – so to say – ‘came to be’… The clearest examples here for me concern his comments regarding gender and race…

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I have never viewed Eugene Halliday’s material as somehow being ‘the last word on any particular subject’ or as ‘Universal’ (or even ‘universal’). And certainly not part of what is referred to as a ‘Perennial Philosophy’. (This is a relatively recent fashionable concept that went out of the window with Nietzsche as far as I’m concerned – who does a very nice job of rendering it not ‘incorrect’ but rather, ‘still-born’) …

In my view, there can be no such thing as ‘the last word’ (particularly here) and I would say that Eugene Halliday’s material was already in real danger of approaching its ‘sell-by date’ even before he died… … It’s about the ‘in-the-now living word’ only (and not the ‘blow-up doll’ version of it).

Eugene Halliday did – I believe – demonstrate this Working ‘in the now’. But the only real purpose this activity of his serves – as far this activity concerned others – was merely to demonstrate that it could, in act, be done… Which is to say that it is demonstrably ‘in the now’ possible to do … Regrettably though, ultimately one has to demonstrate this activity to one’s self – for one’s self…

Coming together to form ‘The Eugene Halliday Fan Club’ is not allowed here then… In former times this behavior would have been called ‘Idolatrous’ …

‘To respect’ here though, is something else – although one must ever be on guard for demonstrations of the bogus ‘Uriah Heap-ish sycophantic twerpery’ version of this – beloved by those who seek pleasure from their indulgence in all manner of those ‘diverse cringings’, that my more austere Protestant ancestors were so incensed by.

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The fruits of ‘Creativity’ can be viewed – in part at least – as an attempt to illuminate the ‘human condition’ (to supply ‘answers’ here, as it were), and so it is easy to see that ‘Gestating’ and ‘birthing’ can often serve as very useful metaphors for all this ‘artistic’ or ‘creative’ activity.

‘Creativity’ as ‘gestation and birth’? … ‘Woman’ viewed then as a biological supplier of ‘answers’ here perhaps? And if so then, of also providing a further example of the way in which ‘being seeks power over being’… In this case, the various attempts made at directly controlling, or of at least of directing – from behind the scenes – the future course of these ‘creations’ of theirs…

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

 

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Many modern authors have written about amber and jet attracting chaff, and other facts unknown to the generality: and as a result of their labors, bookseller’s shops are crammed full.

Our generation has produced many volumes about recondite, abstruse, and occult causes and wonders … but never a proof from experiment, never a demonstration do you find. The writers treat the subject esoterically, mystically.

Hence such philosophy bears no fruit, for it rests simply on a few Greek or unusual terms – just as our barbers toss off a few Latin words in the hearing of the ignorant rabble in token of their learning, and thus win reputation…

Few of the philosophers are investigators, or have first-hand acquaintance with things.

From: William Gilbert ‘s ‘De Magnete’ (1600)

 

Philosophers interpret the world in various ways. (However) The point is to change it.

Marx on Feuerbach.

 

In the beginning was the word.

Gospel of John

 

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(He is now standing astride an old-fashioned bicycle and is dressed like a stereotypical Frenchman – with greased black hair: a thin black pencil moustache. He is wearing a striped sweater and beret, with a string of onions around his neck).

 “But Mon ami!… ‘Thinking’ is not just simply réflexion … There is no such thing as just… thinking, (He leans forward onto the handlebars of his bicycle and chuckles). Ce n’est pas possible … to simply just… ‘think’!

 Mais non!! (He snaps his fingers, and holds them up in the air)…. As soon as a thought is thought, it will have a qualité … a caractéristique … (He chuckles and says quietly) At least for you ….

 It… functions then! … And immédiatement!!!

 It provokes, or it reconciles; it appeals, or repulses; it ruptures and segregates – or it consolidates and reassembles…. (He gestures – holding his index finger in the air and shaking it – before saying slowly and in a measured way) … And so – whether you like it or not – it cannot help but … chaîne … ‘ow you say? … unshackle! … Or … contraindre… constrain!!….

 I tell you my ‘leetle’ friend… Even before specifying, or just simply sketching out, a future course of action – of saying what you sincerely believe it is that must be done. Even before encouraging, or merely sounding the alarm! …. ‘Thought’ – at whatever degree of its existence, … even in its very beginnings – is, in itself, an action! …. (He pauses, and leans closer, before continuing on dramatically) …. And it is always … Always! … a perilous act!…(He points directly forward, looking very solemn)

Particularly so … for the person directly involved!! Because it is they themselves, that are – in the now – ‘ordering power’!! … And… I tell you…Mon Ami … ‘Zis power can so easily turn around and bite ‘zem on ze derrière!!

(He turns around, moving off slowly before continuing on in a loud voice that drops away as the lights slowly fade).

You may believe it or believe it not… But this formulating of your thoughts that you like to do … …. There will be consequences for you, my ‘leetle friend’ …… Profound and unseen consequences (voice is fading) I am very much afraid … Mon Ami…

But that – none the less – you are still… solely responsible for!”

 (Black-out)

From ‘Field notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

 

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An Introduction to A Personal Approach to Working with Eugene Halliday’s Ideas

The remaining material for this post consists of a video recording, together with a separate ‘audio only’ version of the same material – much of which was contained in a talk that was delivered by me in the UK during August of 2014.

However, for the purposes of this particular recording here, I have significantly expanded and amended that talk.

I should also perhaps mention that while recording here, I am (and rather obviously so, if you are viewing the video recording) referring to my notes a great deal.

This recording however, does allow me to summarize much of my reasoning for ‘making Eugene Halliday’s material freely available’ when I did. But I now believe that this is a project that is rapidly approaching the end of its usefulness. At least where it concerns those who might have become interested in ‘these sorts of things’ during the earlier part of this second millennium. Because, in my opinion, the manner in which this subject will be approached, disseminated, and discussed, will become as radically different as the manner in which significant texts were approached, disseminated, and discussed during the period before the invention of the printing press compared to the one immediately after it. A period that continued (in much the same way) right up until the advent of the personal computer and universal access to the world-wide web. A new situate that I am certain is a major game changer here.

So, if you like, up to now my practical task here – initially at least – has had more to do with the medium (that is, providing access to a digital format) that the message itself (Eugene Halliday’s actual material).

But I can sense that it is fast approaching the time when I should be changing direction – particularly as I don’t think there’s that much more I can do here.

Anyway – here are the  links to that video and audio recording:-

Video: https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxfqP1GjTM0&feature=youtu.be

Audio: A Personal Approach to Working with Eugene Halliday’s Ideas

To download this audio file to your computer, simply right click on this link and select ‘Save Link As’; or you can just click on this link in the normal way and it will then play on your computer (but you might have to wait a minute or so for it to load in).

If, for some reason, you would like a transcription of this recording, then please contact me by email at archive.query@gmail.com.

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I should also add here that I do not intend to post as regularly as I have been doing.. So, it should be with a ‘perhaps’ then that I’ll add…

To be continued… 🙂

Bob Hardy

27th Feb 2015

 

 

 

 

“Reality is that which, when you’ve stopped believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

Philip K Dick

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“So!! (He nods) And now that you’re finally here! What then is the most important thing for you to bear in mind for the future? (He pauses for a moment, and begins to pace slowly – considering his answer. He turns around rapidly, before continuing on).

Well! …And as you now realize … Whatever it is that you eventually decide that you’re going to do next … The only way it’s going to be possible for you to actually make any real progress down here, is by Working… And you also seem to have grasped…finally .. that anything else you might do here, doesn’t (He pauses and looks upward as if seeking inspiration) … ‘really count’ … (He gestures to one side and lowers his voice) If I can put it that way… (He looks directly up and raises his voice slightly) Does it? …

Everything you do in your life – your reactions; all your decisions, however minor… Your… ‘unconscious complicity’… we might say … All this – deliberate or not – will inevitably produce some result … Some consequence … However trivial you might consider it to be …(He smiles warmly) If – in fact – you ever get around to considering it at all!…(He pauses and goes on to almost repeat what he has just said before making his final point).

However insignificant these consequences may appear to you … However unimportant … and …willed or not… these you will ultimately be held accountable for … Anyway! … (He thrusts his hands up into the air, and then slowly lowers them).

Look! … For the moment at least … let me add that I do sympathize with you here somewhat… But was it really all that surprising for you to discover that claiming you were unable (or more likely unwilling) to take responsibility for your life, doesn’t mean that – as a consequence of this ’inability’ of yours – you aren’t responsible for it?…

So why don’t just you try and get used to the idea? (He half sings) ‘Always look on the bright side of life.’ (He grins)…

Now that you find yourself here …Now that you’ve finally arrived at this point … You might just as well ‘have a go’! … Because… when all is said and done … What exactly would you say your alternatives are?

One of the real problems that you will need to tackle next then? … Or should I say – better – the only serious problem that you will need to bear in mind from this point on? – At least for the foreseeable future? (He purses his lips and at the same time tilts his head upwards).… Well… this would be that any attempt on your part to Work, will – almost invariably – only ever be successful after you have managed to convince yourself that you believed you already knew all about what it is that you have now, freely chosen … at last … to begin Working upon!… (He grimaces as if indicating how difficult that might be to grasp…He continues on slowly)

It is almost as if – on reaching this point – you have now come to realize that you already understand everything you need to understand…. And that any ‘wisdom’ you do believe you have been privy to in the past is not really going to be of any further assistance to you from now on … Because there is no longer anything else that you need to know.. (He begins to pace, picking up speed slowly). … To realize that any further effort here by you in this direction will simply make matters more complex for you than they need to be, and would … ultimately … only result in you simply squandering a portion of your remaining, finite, resources. … Resources that you will almost certainly need if you are to continue on here and attempt to make any more significant progress in all this, that is…

Bearing in mind of course that – as now you fully accept it’s only you who can decide whether or not to engage in these ‘efforts’; decide whether they are worthwhile or not, your problems will, almost invariably from this point on, present themselves to you – in a very reasonable manner – as something that ‘doesn’t really need to be engaged in’ … not right now… not ‘this minute’… anyway.

Which means of course that you are now in very real danger of actually going backwards…

You have reached the point where you must exercise real care in any future choices you decide to make. … You’ve been (He pauses as if considering his next words carefully) what might be called, ‘going up’ until now. And a certain amount of wasted energy and repetition is natural during this part of your journey… So – for the moment at least – there was always some justification for the things that you did … a legitimate ‘excuse’ for wasting valuable time and resources, as it were

… But you are now – if I can continue using this metaphor – beginning to move … ‘downwards’… Falling towards that … inevitable finalé … so to speak … And a consequence of this is that you will begin to experience states of – what might be called – ‘acceleration’ – such that your life seems to be ‘passing you by’ ever faster and faster…

And thus, even you can now see that – for most of the time at least – you are merely repeating yourself at ever more decreasing intervals … Sadly … but eventually then, you become … just … well … very … boring. …

And being boring down here is the ultimate …Cardinal … Sin… At least during this stage in the game – I’m afraid… (He looks around and begins pacing again, manifesting a air of staged concern, continuing to speak further, almost as an afterthought). And if you end up in this position then, regrettably, ‘your services will simply … no longer be required’ in all this (He stops and shrugs, half-smiling).

And the consequences of that … will be that the lever – the one that opens the lid of that crocodile pit you’ve been standing directly over all this time – will be pulled.. (He laughs, and puts his arms together, opening and closing the space between his hands as if imitating the movement of a crocodile’s mouth)..

Finally … for now… and not to put you off too much …I repeat … the ‘decision’ by you to embark further on this task of Working is no automatic guarantee that you will now make any… actual …progress …(He has stopped pacing and is now looking away. He turns suddenly) … At all! … But you are required to at least make the effort… If you really do want to figure in all this, that is.

(He is now standing still. He smiles warmly and – as if talking to a small child – says softly) So! … Are you sitting comfortably? (He pauses) Then we’ll begin!” (Lights fade slowly to black)

   From ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

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NOTE: Before continuing on here – I would ask those of you who haven’t done so yet to first take the time out to read ‘On My Decision To Include A Blog With This Archive’ which you can find here

In that short piece, I explain briefly (amongst other things) the nature of the obligation that I believe I placed myself under in late 2004 – sometime after I had began construction of the Eugene Halliday Archive…

I still maintain that the only legitimate approach to ‘making Eugene Halliday’s Work to become known world-wide’ can only come from accounts of efforts that are firmly, and obviously, centered around first–hand attempts to interact with this material of his. Rather, that is, than from any ‘ideas’ that various (self-appointed) parties – who have somehow decided that they know what Eugene Halliday ‘meant’ by ‘this’, or by ‘that’ – are dying to tell us all about.

In my opinion, I always found that he was more than ‘rather good’ at doing this for himself  🙂

Initially, at least, my sole intention was not to make Eugene Halliday’s work ‘known’, but simply to make it freely available. And although I did later go on to agree to help in this task of making Eugene Halliday’s work ‘known’ I will admit that I hadn’t really considered just how much effort this might actually involve me in; or indeed, if anyone else would be bothering to ‘lend a hand’ here themselves.

However, my situation re my commitment here has recently changed somewhat, and this new situation that I now find myself in will – to some extent at least – condition my future blog postings.

“I do my thing, and you do yours,” has always been my preferred method of proceeding with matters like this anyway, and attempting to describe, in detail, my interactions with Eugene Halliday’s material in – for example – the form of this blog, went very much against my natural (that is, inertic) inclinations… However, I quickly discovered that I it could serve as an excellent  ‘positive learning experience’ .

So ‘It’s all good!’ then 🙂 …

I would also like to add here, that if what you and I are both doing is similar enough, then I believe we will ‘resonate’ anyway. And subsequently then, the possibility that you and I might ‘join forces’ (for part of this journey at least) becomes a real possibility – without the need for any elaborate explanations; or for the memorizing of any special rules; or of involving ourselves in (yet another) pointless hierarchical social situation of one sort or another.

Actually, to date, my various accounts of these interactions of mine with Eugene Hallidy’s material have produced responses from one or two people that have already been of immense help to me in all this.. And it might even turn out that together, we will go on to produce something of value (however minor) for others …Or not… As the case may be.

That being the situation as I now see it – for the present at least … It’s ‘One more time!’ then…

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In my experience, there is very little new that can be learnt from being punched in the mouth by the same person for the second time.

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It has become more than obvious to me that many of those I have met who claim that they can ‘think’ – although I personally wouldn’t use that term for what it is that they imagine is happening to them here – are actually only ever engaged in rearranging their already firmly established prejudices, simply in order to convince themselves they are ‘now dealing’ with the (never-ending) situation that they find themselves continuously blundering into.

 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

 

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I can’t recall a single instance during the past forty-odd years, when I was completely indifferent to what it was of Eugene Halliday’s that I happened to be listening to, or reading.

However, very early on in all this (at least 30 or so years ago) as I began to focus more and more upon a discrete number of his ideas, I found that I was also impelled to ponder the following questions, “What are the consequences to me of my involvement with these ideas, both in the short-term, and also ‘over the long haul’? .. Or, as the Liverpool version of this question might have it – “Great! … But .. ‘So what’?…”.

This attempt by me to throw some light upon what was going on here, wasn’t something that I experienced as arising from some ‘noble spirit of enquiry’ either. In fact it was far more the case that I found myself, more and more, being prodded in the direction of attempting to answer the following group of closely related questions: “Exactly who is having this experience .. What does this material mean to this ‘who’ … And why does it do so?” … … A group of questions that – essentially – only ‘I’ can supply the answers to… (Although that has never stopped me from ‘checking out’ what others might be up to here 🙂

The experience of having these questions almost permanently present in me, has led me to a number of conclusions about what it is that I believe is ‘going on’ here and ‘now’… And (not surprisingly) a significant proportion of any answers that I might have arrived at, have come to me in the form of ‘language’ …

If you like, you could say that I seem to ‘hear’ any answers that I get to them ‘in my head’ –and not surprisingly I believe, in English.

But I don’t experience any sense that this is ‘someone else’ here; I don’t experience it as ‘the still quiet voice of reason’ or anything spooky like that (‘receiving the odd message from ‘the beyond’..). Rather, I have always experienced this as just ‘me talking to myself’ (or ‘me interrogating myself’ might be a better way to put it).

Understanding the meaning of this ‘language that I ‘hear’; understanding these answers that I supply to myself, forms the major part of what it is that I actually do. And it is this activity I refer as to ‘Working’ … It is also what I believe Eugene Halliday was primarily engaged in. That is, I believe that this is what it was that he was essentially ‘all about’ …

The result of this ‘Working’ – at least as far as I’m concerned – is the experience of an increasing depth of meaning for me; an increasing awareness of ‘being’: an ever-more pronounced awareness that I am actively take part in an ever-evolving ‘in-the-now’; that I am more and more conscious of what i like to refer to as my ‘becoming’.

The major, essential component of this ‘active language’ for me, is that it is grounded in one’s ‘experiences’- and I eventually came to realize that this was actually something of a blessing – because it meant that the task in hand here for me was essentially a ‘finite’ one.

Today I would ‘ask myself’ the same group of questions that I posed above, somewhat differently, and in the following way, ”Exactly who is having this experience of being inspired .. What does it mean to them … And why does it do so? … Is it my ‘genuine’ self; is it my ‘authentic’ self; or is there someone else here ‘in the building with me’ at the moment who is having this experience?” .

And now (perhaps) you’ll want to ask “And what the Hell is that supposed to mean? … !!”

Well … supplying some form of answer to that question – I would claim – is the purpose of this blog of mine … In part at least 🙂

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I am currently in the process of recording a number of (reasonably short) videos for the next couple of posts. These will contain the material – somewhat amended – of a talk that I gave in the UK on the 17th August, 2014

These videos are numbered in sequence – with the generic title ‘A Personal Approach To Working With Eugene Halliday’s Ideas’.  ‘Part One’ will (hopefully) be available at the beginning of February.

To be continued ….

BOB HARDY

Jan 1st  2015

 

 

“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.” – André Gide.

I have very recently, in the last couple of days, decided to split this post into two parts, as I am finding that it has become far too unwieldily for me to manage in quite the way that I would like.

This particular post then will deal further with my own experiences at ‘Working’; while the next post will focus mainly on my attempts to come to some practical understanding, concerning what I believe is another major concept of Eugene Halliday’s (and one that I maintain is intimately linked with ‘Working’), that of ‘Being here now’.

For the time being at least, these two post will be the last ones in which I will be dealing solely with these related ideas.

I should also add here, that although the contents of this particular post arose as a direct consequence of the comment Richard had posted at the end of my previous post (here), what I have written below is not intended to constitute a reply.

To begin then …

NOTE: At some point during this post I hope it will become clear to you why it is that, when I’m attempting to clarify what I mean (certainly in practice) by the terms, work (‘work/Work’) and working (‘working/Working’, I make use of both, the small-case ‘w’, and also the upper-case ‘W’.

If you maintain that you’re having real problems in coming to an appreciation of this ‘work/Work’ concept of Eugene Halliday’s (a situation that is understandable if you’re relatively new to his material; but difficult (at least for me) to appreciate if you claim to have been ‘working/Working’ – or ‘involving yourself’ with his ideas for a reasonable amount of time) then what I am suggesting below, is that the tackling of questions such as “Who is doing the work?” might be used to uncover a great deal of useful information – and perhaps even result in an increase in overall understanding here. Particularly if this subject is approached with questions that attempt to view it from a number of disparate (and maybe not quite so obvious) viewpoints.

I have used this approach myself a great deal over the years as a means of uncovering information concerning this, and also a variety of other subjects that have – one way or another – somehow managed to ‘take my fancy’.

I would claim that this approach is, in many ways (in part at least) similar to the one used in deconstructing texts. Particularly where I am attempting to discover any ‘gaps’ that I believe might be situated ‘around the periphery of’ the accepted meaning of the text(s) that I am examining.

This approach was one that I first began using as a consequence of the way in which I believed I understood Eugene Halliday’s ideas regarding the (as he puts it) ‘limits of the application of terms’.

A quick comment here then before continuing, about Eugene Halliday’s ‘limits of the application of terms’…

If you continually attempt to bear this idea of Halliday’s in mind, you will hopefully, in the ‘here and now’ moment, eventually become aware that any utterance you are presently making use of (that is – any concept, or any idea that you are presently examining) is always relative; is always bounded; and is thus then, always heuristic by its very nature…

You do not, and cannot, speak exhaustively about anything whatsoever, and thus any attempt to say what is absolutely ‘real’ is – before you begin –  doomed to failure.

What you can do though, is objectify your present view of the world, and construct a relative viewpoint in such a way that it allows you to move forward.

You need to formulate then, what it is that will (for the moment at least)  allow you some measure of predictability in the manner in which you proceed… Or, in my case, what exactly was it that I need to know now in order to make some progress –  had become the pressing question here for me.

So we can say that, when using language as a method of formulating meaning, we are always being, in some measure at least, hypothetical … And thus we can, in practice, be aware then, that the moment we hypostatize our hypothesis – that is, that we believe it to be ‘real’ – we are already beginning our slide down the slippery slope of the process that Eugene Halliday refers to as ‘identification’…

The ‘name of the particular game’ here for me then, is to attempt an understanding of the context, the range, and the scope, of that group of ideas contained in Eugene Halliday’s term ‘Work’ – in order to discover ‘the limits of the application of this (particular) term’… for me.

If I am – to any significant degree – successful, it should then be possible for me to realize when I can properly make use of this term, and so when it might be prudent for me to use a different one (such as: ‘talking past myself’; ‘fiddling about’; ’trying to be a smart-ass’; ‘fantasizing’; or ‘dithering’).

Here, then, are a number of ‘different’ approaches that I would suggest could be used in order to throw further light on this term –  ‘working/Working’

  • Can you be ‘Working’ and not ‘know’ (not be aware) that you are? …Can you ‘Work’ without ever – either vaguely or exhaustively – attempting to define (and thus subsequently give a textual meaning to) this concept/activity? Or – putting this another way – can you Work and be completely unable (or perhaps simply just not see the point of) formulating a precise definition for this mode of activity? …. Looking at the question this way could help you get some idea of just how important the formulating of concepts like these are to you (at least emotionally).
  • If, on examining a significant number of examples, you arrive at the conclusion that knowing what ‘Work is’ appears to matter very little in these instances  (that is – where it concerns the process of actually doing some Work) then this conclusion of yours could lead you to maintain that people who need to define and explain everything in this way might very well not in fact be, in some way, superior here… But, rather, that they might actually be handicapped by this continual attempt on their part to engage in an endless search for (and subsequent pontification over) the ‘correct definition’, or the ‘real meaning’, of everything… A process that might even have gone so far as to see them agonizing over every single letter that they make use of, during these attempts of theirs.
  • Would you ever maintain something like, “‘Working’ constitutes its own definition; it is its own text… It does not need some form of further elaboration.” Or perhaps, “It is the real and only expression of Love, and it ‘speaks for itself’.” …And if you did, what would you mean by that?
  • Are you the sort of person that, when presented by someone else with explanations, like (say) the one that I have used for ‘Working’ in the paragraph above, thinks that its ‘very good’. And, as a direct consequence, will then immediately attempt to appropriate it? … If you are, to what degree do you then attempt to ‘make it your own’ by, say, meditating over this ‘explanation that has taken your fancy’, and then attempting to incorporate it into some form of praxis (use it to ‘work/Work’ yourself)? … Or do you just find that you now have a very good way of disguising the fact that you – in truth – don’t actually do much work – but when asked about the subject, you can now ‘say something smart about it’ and so appear to those who are looking for answers here, to be someone you’re not; that is, to be someone  who is practically ‘in the know’..
  • What advantages were obtained (if any) by you, in studying material produced by people like Eugene Halliday (and perhaps others in the same field) where it concerns your own efforts at – what it is that you now (or in the past) refer(ed) to as – ‘Working’?
  • Was it essential to you that there was someone like Eugene Halliday ‘about’ – a person with whom you believed (or imagined) that you could form some sort of (meaningful) relationship with, in order to – in principle at least – come to any subsequent understanding (as you see it) of this concept of ‘Working’? … That is, would you subscribe to one version or another of the idea that some sort of ‘qualified teacher’ is essential here – before you can begin to engage in something like ‘Working’? ….
  • And to put this last bit into some sort of context… The overwhelming majority of those beings who were passing themselves off as ‘yoga teachers’ in the 60’s and early ‘70’s (such as Ken Ratcliffe) had learned what it was that they thought they knew about the subject from either: reading a book; listening to a recording; watching others doing it on TV; making it up themselves; engaging in – and subsequently promoting – various calisthenic and/or calming exercises that are all rather obvious really; or (like John, Paul, George, and Ringo) hanging around with some guy who hailed from ‘East of Suez’ (take your pick) while, at the same time, dressing-up like extras for the cover of a ‘Quality Street’ chocolate-box photo shoot… In these instances above though, would you say that, even so, it would still be possible to gain at least some understanding of what it was that ‘working/Working’ might actually be about; even if these particular experiences only resulted in serving to illuminate what ‘Working’ ‘was not’?…
  • If your answer to this last question was, “Yes, you must have a teacher,” then how do you arrive at the conclusion that the particular teacher you’ve ‘signed up with’ knows what they are talking about? … Do you take it on trust? … Would it simply be that they appeared to be ‘popular in a particular ‘occult’ area’ (like Russell Grant in Astrology, say)? Or would you say that you ‘just knew’ they were the right person, because of the ‘strong feeling’ you had about it…. Or was it for a completely different reason – for example, you felt that if you demonstrated a ‘real earnestness to learn’, this person (unlike almost everyone else you knew) might recognize something in you ‘of true worth’ and ‘bring it out in you’… Or something like that?
  • Would you admit that, although you don’t need a ‘teacher’ constantly, the truth of the matter is, that you believe you needed someone to point you in roughly the right direction at the beginning here… Even if you subsequently ‘moved on’ and severed this relationship.
  • Do you believe that ‘Working’ is something that you (and perhaps all human beings) are, somehow, already naturally required, or fundamentally equipped, to engage in? … Or do they need to acquire – what you presently believe are – ‘special powers’, (such as ‘reflexive self-consciousness’ for example). And thus, that this activity therefore, is only available to the ‘fortunate few’ (or some group or other of ‘The Elect’ etc.)… Or do you believe that your average milkman/postman/fisherman/tax-collector/’lady of the night’ would have just as much success at understanding – and of actually actively engaging in – ‘work/Work’ as, say, Eugene Halliday? … What are your reasons for thinking about this in the way that you do?
  • Was ‘becoming involved in these sorts of activities’ a course of action that you thought you might like to embark upon (when you could get round to it) that was suggested to you by someone else (as an ‘idea’ or ‘concept’, or ‘interest’) … By someone who (perhaps) represented some sort of ‘authority figure’ here… … But that, even so, this idea already appealed to you in some way? (You rather liked the sound of it’ – although you didn’t really understand it at the time – but just ‘sort of’ believed that – one way or another – ‘it would all become ‘clear(er)’…eventually… ).
  • Did you have a vague intuition that becoming involved in ‘this sort of thing’ would somehow make you a ‘more interesting person’, either to yourself, or to others… Why?
  • Do your ideas about ‘Working’ include the necessity for you to be associated with some particular group of people?
  • If the answer to the last question is ‘Yes’, do you believe that this group would be hierarchically organized, and that your position in this hierarchy, or the activities with this group that you like to engage in, constitute for you, in some way, a measure of your ‘success’ in ‘all this’?

I am suggesting that you look at these questions (and questions here like this) because they arise out of my own experiences – which I believe is a far better approach for me to take here than attempting to supply (yet more) mysterious and occult ideas that I have purloined from either some book; or from some other source; or have ‘personalized’ from someone else’s ideas, or from accounts of their own experiences … (Which is something that I am more than capable of doing, by the way 🙂 …)

I began reflecting upon my own position here relatively early on in all this, with the result that I came to realize that I had swallowed this particular ‘work/Work’ concept, ‘hook line and sinker’ (along with quite a few others) – without really understanding it – simply because I was attracted to it, and found it so appealing! … If I were to be more precise, I would maintain that I was, in fact, seduced by these ideas (a situation that I have alluded to in other posts) …

And so, as a direct result of this ‘seduction’, it became essential that – before I went any further – I completely understood that I would have to take full responsibility (or as much responsibility as I could) for what it was that I had willingly allowed to happen to me here… if I was ever going to move on, that is… Otherwise I would be condemned to a life of ‘turning up at meetings’ without really understanding why… These habitual ‘social occasions’ being pleasant enough so as to not ‘rattle my cage’ and perhaps ‘wake me up’ … (Heaven forbid!)..

To elaborate on the seductive aspect of these ideas for a moment (as far I experienced them), this idea of ‘working/Working’ (and ideas very like it) seemed to point to the possibility of my appreciation of – and perhaps my subsequent direct involvement with – other ideas that I vaguely thought were ‘related’. Such as; ‘understanding’ stuff from the vantage point of a ‘higher level of consciousness’ (although I did not – and still do not – have the faintest idea as to what that term might really mean in practice); or come to embrace the idea that we were all, somehow, disembodied beings, who were making use of these ‘gross material’ bodies of ours  – via our various ‘consciousnesses’; or perhaps we were all making use of the same consciousness; or indeed, that perhaps ‘it’ was making use of ‘us’ – and upon dying we would all subsequently be released (somehow) in order to ‘fly off’ (or ‘plummet down headlong’) to a ‘better (or even worse) place’ as a direct consequence of some sort of ‘evolutionary mechanism’, or ‘grand cosmic plan’..

I should also mention here, that one of the very real problems with Eugene’s material that I initially had during that first ten years or so was one that I now realize was absolutely necessary for me to experience… Which was that, the more that I fancied that I ‘understood’ his ideas, the more this meant – in some way – that I was finally getting to know ‘what was really going on’ down here… But in practice, nothing could have been further from the truth … and I was actually, instead, very busy laboring away at ‘vanishing up my own behind’…. Luckily for me though, during this period, I was still unable to give up the fags, booze and other recreational ‘enhancers’, bacon sandwiches, visits to the White City dog track, and the perusing of magazines such as ‘Tit-Bits’ and ‘Reveille’, etc. … Which probably went a long way towards saving me for more advanced stuff… (Which is, so to say, after I had ‘matured a bit’) …

Anyway, it was some time before I was able to stop (for short periods at least) all the ‘occult fantasizing’ that was going on. And it was with something approaching relief that I eventually came to accept – and also realized that it would be extremely profitable for me to go along with – Eugene Halliday’s concept of ‘working/Working’ – which he defined simply as, ‘The act/process of ordering (sentient) power’.

Of course, seeing the subject this way didn’t actually make it any easier for me to do any ‘work/Work’ myself… Although, it was now beginning to dawn on me that this ‘working’ (lower-case ‘w’) was not (and indeed had never been) a problem – because ‘working’ was something that I was doing all the time, and actually couldn’t stop doing – whether I liked it or not..  But luckily – from this perspective – I saw that it might now be possible for me to change things, by attempting to find ways of limiting the negative affects of my ‘working’ if I could; or even devise ways of increasing my ability to actually do some ‘Work’ (upper-case ‘W’).

In addition, accepting this concept of Eugene Halliday’s in the way that I now did, allowed me to view beings who weren’t particularly nice (such as Satan, Adolph Hitler, and Batman), and also very nice people (such as St Francis of Assisi, Miss Marple, and Jimmy Carter) to have been reasonably adept at managing their own  abilities to ‘work/Work’ – at least for some of the time… … And the fruits of these ‘various beings’ labors (that were the direct result at their attempts at ‘working/Working’)? … Well, of course, this was conditional upon their particular ‘field of endeavor’… In one or two of the instances immediately above, for example, this could be said to be: marching into Poland; or riding around on a bicycle through the English country-side solving all manner of heinous crimes …(‘As ye sow,…etc.’). …

If I could be perhaps overly melodramatic for a second – I was also surprised to discover that it was now possible for me to ‘Defend the Devil’  … because I could now appreciate that He was, at the very least,  ‘working’; or even (and far more interestingly as I understood Eugene Halliday to be suggesting) – ‘Working’.

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This realization vis-à-vis ‘sentient power’, and ‘working’ – that is, that not only your dog, but also the bacteria in your dog’s gut etc. were all very busy ‘working’ (the former beavering away at sniffing the crutches of various family members and friends, barking, tail-waging, and fetching sticks; and the latter producing dog-poop) – because both dog and bacteria were ‘ordering power’ – seems rather obvious now.. And indeed, this ‘obviousness after the fact’ is one of the reasons why I’m really attracted to the way in which  Eugene Halliday presents some (at least) of his ideas.

And, indeed  – from that time on, right up until the present moment – this is how I ‘see things’. And I am now in the happy state of finding it blindingly obvious that – in fact – every ‘body’ is ‘at it’… all of the time…

You might say then, that I fancy I now, almost, understand this idea.  🙂

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Having got that out of the way then, the task in hand now became one of coming to some understanding as to who it was that might be choosing (if indeed anybody was) to  ‘affirm’ all this ‘work/Work’.. I was OK with the ‘who’ then, but now the ‘why’ seemed to be yet another crucial question here., because I could intuit that the ‘why’ would pretty much determine who the ‘who’ was.

And it was for this very reason, that ever since I arrived at my conclusion regarding what this ‘ordering of (sentient) power’ might mean for me, I have found it necessary to differentiate between ‘work’ and ‘Work’.. And also to recognize that both these activities constitute, ‘What it is that all of existence is ‘actually, really, all about’ …’ (Particularly in Eugene Halliday’s sense of ‘real(ly)’ – making a difference; and ‘about’ – around out’)

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The question of what exactly constituted ‘work/Work’ then, was now, I felt, something that I had, finally ‘got some sort of handle on’…. But the question of just why this who was doing all this ‘work/Work’ was not nearly as clear to me…

I hope you can now see why this question of ‘agency’ (the ‘who’) began to dominate my thinking, when it came to this subject of work/Work… And also that I already appreciated a satisfactory answer here would not be anything as simplistic as just ‘the observer’…. or something like that. At least unless I could come to some idea as to why ‘the observer’ (if indeed I came to believe that there was such a ‘who’) would be involved… I mean, for God’s sake, “Why bother?” … 🙂

However, thankfully, it was now a question that I believed finally ‘had some flesh on its bones’ for me. And so I hoped that I would find myself, sooner or later, arriving at some sort of satisfactory answer here – or at least enough of a one to allow me to move forward.

But what I believed I needed now, was a way of ‘seeing’ these two concepts of ‘working’ and Working’… That is, I had to create some sort of metaphor in order to ‘illuminate’ them… Something that I could use to judge the degree of work/Work that I believed I was observing; and at the same time, also what it was that I believed this work/Work to consist in … as clearly as I could …

Because, if work/Work was – as I now maintained – going on all around me, all of the time – then in order to understand it, I needed to establish some form of relationship with it… At least one that would provide me with a way of constructing some form of text that: a). Satisfactorily described this work/Work as a process; and b). Described my relationship(s) to it in some way (my reaction to it; the consequences of it in the world for me; etc.).

The model that I eventually came to use was in the end, I would maintain, relative simple.

It consists of an imaginary rope that is black at its left end, and white at its right end. This rope gradually changes color from one end to the other – such that in the middle – for my purposes here – it would, most usually, be grey.

On the far left end I situate mechanical ‘work’ – this would be ‘work’ at the level of gross matter, that was just ‘going on anyway’. Power is being ordered here in such a way that it establishes the simplest of basic forms – something like, say, sub-atomic particles – and although ‘spin’ (rotation) is, I believe, the ‘quality’ that is most apparent in them; even so, they still – at this very basic level – demonstrate the capabilities of attraction and repulsion (reactivity then), or of ‘relationship’ (in the simplest of terms)…

On the far right of my rope is a Mythological Abstraction – ‘God at Work’.

The degree of difficulty that I experienced in attempting to maintain my balance when I (metaphorically) positioned myself on this rope at any one particular time (which was how I ‘saw’ my various attempts at working/Working to be) would be mirrored (would correspond metaphorically) to the height of the rope above the ground … Which, I should mention, was (again metaphorically speaking) positioned directly over the mouth of a large crocodile pit … which had big poisonous spikes sticking up from the bottom in it … that all had poisonous tips..

I should also add that – if that wasn’t enough – there would always be a wind blowing about – from the caress of a slight breeze, to a howling gale…

Everything that’s ‘going on’ down here then – when I’m either participating in it myself, or when I’m observing other beings ‘doing stuff’ – can be situated (metaphorically) by me, somewhere in-between the two ends of this rope.

Human beings are the only beings that I have experienced who I believe are capable of actually doing any ‘Work’ (although I appreciate that you might maintain this is not the case for you)… Primarily because they are the only beings potentially capable of being reflectively self-conscious at any particular moment in time – should they freely chose to be so…. All other sentient creatures that I have encountered have only been capable of ‘work’… But they can all, of course, still be situated at varying distances away from the far left end of my metaphorical rope… With, say, Geckos being ‘further to the right’ than Artichokes….

My sole intention for constructing this metaphor is to explore – and to consequently construct accounts for myself – of my own attempts at working/Working, and also my appreciation of other being’s attempts…. So it is crucial in all this that you fully appreciate these accounts of mine are purely hypothetical… And indeed, this is why this particular metaphor (with its colored rope and crocodiles etc.) in it, is so useful to me… Because I find it almost impossible to fall into the trap (… 🙂 …) of believing that it is substantive – that is, that it is ‘real’ … And this helps prevent me from  hypostatizing these various metaphorical  hypotheses’ of mine… And also allows me the room to appreciate that this metaphor could even become – in the future – far too naïve, or simplistic, for my purposes here… So you might be relieved to know that I am never in the position of actually believing that I am really balancing on a colored rope, suspended above a crocodile pit… Because, “Hey! … That would just be ridiculous!!”

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So, from this point onwards, I attempted to shift my own perspective around to a point where I could reflect on just what it was that I understood Eugene Halliday’s position to be here… Which was that it was not concerned simply with ‘working’ (with simply ‘ordering power’) but was – in practical terms – far more about ‘the act of affirming this working/Working’…. More importantly then, about just why it was that the who might be doing this affirming.

So, ‘the who that was in charge here as a consequence of the why’ from moment to moment became the consuming interest for me now. … And, indeed, I quickly discovered that this was an extremely slippery and evasive question for me to even attempt a response to – particularly where it concerns the formulating of any sort of textual (written or verbal) account that I was, in any way, even reasonably satisfied with….

But at least I now believed that it was now possible for me to be in a state where I could identify ‘who’ it was that was in charge (by reflecting upon it ‘in the now’) even without this ability for me to produce a (metaphorical) description of it… However, I now suspected there was a distinct possibility that I might soon be able to create these accounts – by, say, recalling them from memory, and subsequently writing them down (without, hopefully, embellishing them too much, in order to ‘present them in a ‘kindlier light’)..

But of course these ‘new improved’ accounts would be more complex, and so would have to include far more than just my ‘rope’ metaphor/analogy. Which was – although still very practical (at least as far as I was concerned) –  obviously going to be missing a great deal of essential detail.

I would claim that my relative success at now being able to focus on my own states during these attempts of mine to work/Work began (and have remained so ever since) to provide me with (what I am pleased to refer to as) numerous examples of ‘Archetypal material’…

This material was dependent for its particular ‘form’ on those different working/Work scenarios that I found myself attempting to deal with at any one particular time… That is to say, these scenarios of mine seemed to naturally produce any number of different ‘personalities’, that – by the use of active imagination – I found I could then allow to ‘speak through me’..

And thus the particular scenario in question was ‘fleshed out’, as it were, in the form of this subsequent ‘account’ of mine. Which could (as a direct consequence here) have then been (hopefully) dragged into my egoic consciousness – to the extent that I was then able to interrogate it, to debate with it; to converse with it; to form a relationship with it; and to subsequently ponder over any implications in all this that it might contain … to my heart’s content …

You might say that I was ‘conjuring up spirits’ here 🙂 … Or you could say,that I was allowing myself to be possessed … and that this is what I was ‘affirming ’…

Only kidding! … … (No I’m not).

We never hear things as they really are; we only ever hear things as we really are.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
’
Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

I would occasionally (and still do) sometimes sit down and just attempt to noodle away at the the piano instead … As this particular approach to ‘getting at who it was that I am’ at any one particular time, does seem to mirror – broadly speaking a least – the particular ‘cluster’ of ‘in-the-now’ emotional states that I find myself in…

But the situation that I now found myself in had started to make me realize that keeping two of – what I believed were  –  Eugene Halliday’s major concepts  separate, was becoming next to impossible for me.

These two major concepts of his were:

1) The one that I have been attempting to present in this and the previous two posts, re ‘working/’Working; and,

2) The one that I intend to attempt to deal with in my next post – ‘being here now’.

To be continued then …

 

BOB HARDY

March 22nd  2014

 

Man is the only creature who can refuse to be who he is.

Albert Camus.

The contents of this post consist entirely of my attempts to respond in more detail to the question, “Who is doing the Work?” – posted in the ‘comments’ section, at the bottom of my previous post.

(NOTE: To go to my previous post and the associated comments thread, click (here). Scrolling to the bottom of this post will take you to the ‘Comments’).

Even though I do have a number of ideas about what I mean when I say that I am ‘Working’, I realize that I have never clarified any of my views on this subject – or how it was that I arrived at them – to anyone else, at least not in any detail…And although the post below is rather long, I have still only managed to provide a brief sketch. Be that as it may, here then are a ‘variety of my views’ on the subject of ‘Work’.

Before going into the ‘Who’ however, there is another question – ‘What is Work?’ – that, in my view, must come first; because I find that I can’t say anything in any really meaningful way about this ‘Who’, until I can place it in very particular situations.

But, if I were pushed into answering this question right now – from the point of view of my own cultural background (which is Judaic/Christian) – then my (one-word) answer here, at least in the sense that I understand the word ‘Work’, would be, “Jesus.”

But, for the moment at least, that answer might appear to be almost ‘flippant’ … …  Almost…

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For me, the major defining characteristic of ‘Working’ is that it is a process, and not a ‘thing’ or an ‘idea’ (a ‘think’)… So it cannot then, by it’s very nature, be defined – except in the broadest of terms…

Rather – Working can possess any number of meanings. Each of which is dependent upon which section of the ‘task at hand’, you happen to be Working on, in the moment …

This meaning of Work is also, rather obviously I believe, intimately connected with the psychological make-up of the ‘who’ that is attempting to do this Work.

So from my perspective then, Working can only ‘actually’ be described, at, or from, ‘point–to-point’… If, indeed, ‘described’ is the correct word to be used here… And this also applies to any attempt at coming up with the ‘who’… In fact, I find it helpful to use a variety of labels for ‘who’ here. .. such as: ‘Naughty Bob’… ‘Happy Bob’ … ‘Introspective Bob’ … “I’m really going to give it my best shot this time Bob’ … ‘Look – this time I’m serious here – Bob’ … ‘No – honestly – this time I am really, really, serious about this – Bob’ … ‘BoH-bee-zZzz -K’… etc. … which all helps me in dismantling any notion I might harbor that ‘at the end’ there will be a ‘who’ that is going to eventually emerge from all this… A sort of ‘unchanging, all-knowing, eternal, smiley, super-Bob’ who – just like all the other members of the elect here who have somehow managed to ‘make it’ – is now eternally united with Margaret Thatcher, The Queen Mother, Winston Churchill, and Karl Marx…

Not my favorite idea at all, I’m afraid…

So – as I also maintain that ‘the name of the game’ here is the introduction of ‘change’ (or better – ‘transformation’) to ‘being’ – the question as to who exactly this ‘Who’ is then, now clearly becomes far more complicated to answer than we would all, perhaps, have liked…

But, if it’s any comfort here, examining these resistances, or difficulties, to providing any (evolving) description of what takes place to beings when they do actually get round to doing a bit of Work produces great steaming mounds of personally produced ‘raw material’, that can eventually – amongst all sorts of other useful things that it can do here – provide an extremely clear account of what it was that Eugene Halliday meant by his use of the term ‘engram’…

This might – for the moment perhaps – appear to be another subject entirely to that of Working… But I believe that this reaction to Eugene Halliday’s material – which is to say that the difficulty almost everyone I have come across has had, in applying their subsequent understanding of Eugene Halliday’s concepts, such as ‘engrams’, to their own situation – is crucial to any understanding here, of this ‘Work process’…

And even though the individual pieces themselves… those talks and essays etc. that Eugene Halliday was almost continually, ‘putting out there’ … are invariably (reasonably) clear to ‘see’ (rather like the individual pieces of a jig-saw puzzle). Getting an appreciation of the whole picture is another matter entirely. Particularly as – before you start attempting to join the pieces together – you discover that you have not been provided with a box that has a nice copy of the ‘finished picture’ on the lid (There goes another of my cheesy metaphors! :-)).

But I believe that it is always at least possible here, to come to some personal evaluation of the ‘situation as it now stands’ (by, say, answering a question to yourself such as, “How did that last bit go?”) … And then – having arrived at one answer or another here – of being aware that this immediately opens up the possibility of being able to ask the next question.. Which is of course – “OK then! … I got that bit … I think…  So far, so good!… What is am I supposed to do now? … Next?”

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Attempts can be made at ‘explaining’ Work from any number of viewpoints – but these will only ever be little more than lifeless theories unless they are rooted in actual experiences – no matter how cunningly contrived these ‘explanations’ happen to be…

But, that said, I can also see that it is possible to have a belief about the possible reasons for Working in the form of a sort of overview of it, … For example – if you like – ‘We Work, because doing so will (eventually) set us free.’ … (But in this particular case though, I would caution, “Don’t hold your breath!”)…

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Viewed as a process though, it becomes much easier to see that ‘the who’; ‘the what’; ‘the how’; and ‘the where’ of Working, are all so intimately related that it becomes almost impossible to explore the answer to one, without simultaneously taking into account all of the others.

So – from this perspective then – this ‘Who’ that we are interested in revealing to ourselves, depends very largely upon ‘what’ it is that needs to be done in that moment..

Indeed, this fact – that I am faced with a choice of what to do at every moment – is one of the major reasons why I believe that there needs to be any ‘who’ here at all… In the first place… for anyone to wonder (wander) about!..

Because, if there were no choice here; that is, that any Work that needed to be done could only ever be done in one way – then there would only ever be a need for one ‘who’ here; or there could be lots of ‘who’s’, but they’d all be doing this identical, one, same thing…. Which seems rather pointless to me… Although, I suppose, we could all be doing ‘the-same-but-different’ thing … But if that were the case, then we’d all have to be Irish, because they’re the only ones who can understand what things like this mean – and we’re not.

Because we are all finite – and so we are all, in one sense then, incomplete – it can easily be seen that in identical circumstances, I will be required to do something quite different from you (you may have to ‘stoop under’; while I may have to ‘jump over’, for instance)…

This ‘who’ and ‘what’ for me, both depend intimately then, upon what point it is along the journey (the ‘where’) that the ‘who’ here, happens to be at.

The ‘upside’ to this perspective on things for me, is that questions and comments, such as, ‘What have you stopped for?; ‘You’ve missed a part out!”; and “That’s the wrong way!” etc. all become much more immediately obvious – and so much simpler – to appreciate.

So now, in my case, the original question of ‘Who is Working’ (as I begin to focus on it then) quickly becomes for me, far more complex; taking the form of – “Who is it here that is ‘becoming’?”; “Who is it, specifically, that is now involving themselves – here and now – in this particular part of this process?”… And this allows me to factor in, not only this ‘who’, as an evolving ‘who’ – but also situate this ‘who’ in the ever-changing background of a ‘what’ (located at a specific place); and at a ‘where’ (at some point in the time-process)…

Which all serves to give me a much greater ‘purchase’ on the original question…’Who is Working’…Believe it or not!

All this also means that – not only stating exactly ‘Who’ is Working’ has suddenly become difficult, except in general terms – but also that ‘a set of instructions’ as to ‘how to Work’ cannot now be given – in any practical detail – by any ‘teacher’ – or they can only be given in the broadest of terms.

Because, in the actual, practical, matter of Working (which, in my view, is the same thing as the actual, practical, matter of living) this will be incredibly complex, and uniquely different for each individual – particularly where it concerns the quality of these experiences; and also that the ‘task at hand’ changes – both in its form and function, and from from moment to moment – to a degree that is dependent entirely upon the ‘position along their evolutionary path’ that the being attempting to Work happens to find themselves at in that particular moment…

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It is possible, from time to time, to recognize someone else who has actually been Working, by the way in which they relate any of their experiences of the process involved to you. And, in these instances, it is possible to have a little rest and a chat with them – before moving on.

I can sense when others are ‘recalling their own personal journey’ and so are relaying their own actual, lived, experiences to me … There is an emotional engagement with the recounting which I believe is almost impossible to fake – at least not for very long.

However, a complete lack of embarrassment on the part of those relaying these experiences, or a sense that they are being guided in some way by my reactions to their tale, will almost certainly mean that – no matter how convincing they might sound – they are almost certainly lying, or that they are self-deluded, and are ‘acting’ … or at the very least, embellishing most of this account of theirs, in order to make it more ‘interesting’, ‘mysterious’, or even ‘sexy’…

Thus – the only one, really essential, requirement here when ‘listening in’ to all this  –  is a sense of humor.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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So, its more for me then, that ‘Working is a process that – freely interacting with – will result in the further development of an evolving ‘Who’; rather than a sort of static ‘Who’… who  just ‘beavers away’ at stuff … getting older by the minute.

Interestingly – in my own case, back when I was first introduced to Eugene Halliday’s material by Ken Ratcliffe in the mid 1970’s – the very first word that I felt impelled to work with, was process… This word was not suggested to me by anyone else… It seemed to just ‘come to me out of the blue, as it were… And I have never been able to quite figure out why… Not back then, or now… And I’ve often wondered about this since… (I still have the notes that I made back then, as well)……

…But it has just dawned on me  – as to possibly – why…

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I will also say that I am ‘on board’ with much of the content of that posted comment … I agree that Working can be intensely irritating – but that this is exactly what you need in order to Work… And it is your intuition here that will provide the inspiration for you to Work. i.e. “Although I know this is going to take a great deal of effort I really believe that I will achieve this goal,” or, “I have a strong sense that I must do this.” etc. … You shoulder your particular problem, and attempt to move forward – as you are able. Your intuition will provide some ‘light’ for you here, and give you a guide as to whether or not you are moving in the right direction.

I would also agree that Work can seem to be carrying on ‘without you’ … and so there is always the problem here of one’s ever-present, ‘inertic self’…

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But – re the part of this comment that reads – ‘An intelligence that transcends my personal egotism’…  I’m not really sure what is meant here… This seems to be implying that (say in my case) it wouldn’t actually be me who would be doing this Work … And that’s the opposite of what I do believe … Because central to any claim by me that I have actually done any of this ‘Work’, is my active experience of having done it! …

I have never had this sense of ‘otherness’; this ‘intelligence that transcends my personal egotism’ – in this way.

Whatever state(s) I do experience, it’s always me that’s having these experiences – although this state may sometimes seem ‘better’ than others (say one of resolute calmness, or focus – as opposed to experiencing depression, or irritation); and those accounts, by others, who claim that ‘something or someone else’ is having these experiences instead, just don’t ‘add up’ at all, for me..

In my case then, I’m either having an experience, or I’m not; if someone else (or some ‘thing’) is claiming to have the experience instead (but, ultimately, in situations like this, how would I really know if they were?), then I’m OK with that; and I have no problem with sharing experiences… But when it comes to ‘doing’ – I’m either the one ‘doing the doing’, or I’m not… Of course I can also ‘hold your coat’ and watch you ‘do it’ – but then my experience in this particular case would be one of ‘holding your coat and watching you’.

I couldn’t really see me maintaining the view that I do – that Working is the only thing we are really here to accomplish – if I thought Working was just ‘a really good idea’, or ‘an interesting, sound, metaphysical concept’: or ‘the nectar of the Gods’; or of ‘being touched’ by somethin(g/k) ‘else’; or ‘a code of behavior that it would be ‘really good’ to live by’ – when I can manage it; or when I’m in the mood to; or when I get around to actually doing so; or something like that…

And although some of the states I do experience seem to me to be ‘far more together’ than others, and the degree (or force) with which I can experience them, ranges from ‘hardly noticeable’ to ‘overwhelming’, I have never had the experience of being ‘occupied’ by ‘another’…. (Although two of my past friends did develop paranoid schizophrenia later in life, and it clearly seemed – to them at least – that they were ‘occupied’)  … So – as far as I’m concerned then – it has to be me that does this Work.

But then I suppose a great deal would also depend on what is meant here by the term ‘ego’…

I use this word in a very specific way, and I don’t really understand it most of the time when others use it… Eugene Halliday use of the term seemed somewhat ambiguous, or even contradictory at times, to me – So I tend to ‘screen it out’…

And where I hear it used in common speech? … Well, it seems to be able to be applied to almost anything, and anybody, indiscriminately – and this makes it almost pointless for me to attempt to use it as a meaningful term, when I’m speaking to others   …

From my own understanding, it seems to me that when others use this term they are almost invariably referring to their self-constructed ‘social mask’ – or, as I prefer it (and using the term in its Jungian sense) ‘Persona’… This persona is, for me: ‘Who it is that that beings are presently invested in presenting themselves as – both to themselves and to others’… And this is not, for me, the ‘ego’…

So I would need more background here before I could comment further – at least on this bit.

That said … whether or not any other part of this response is what it is that you had in mind Richard, is another matter entirely!  🙂

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To continue on then …

This is (obviously, I believe) a very ‘deep’ subject for me. But I do appreciate that the way in which I view some aspects of it (and fret over others) might seem odd to someone else… Especially, when I add here, that I don’t believe it’s necessary to understand the ‘who’, ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘were’, and ‘why’ of Working, in order to Work… In the same way that I don’t believe it’s necessary to know how a watch works, in order to be able to use it to tell the time… And so I can appreciate that there are those out there who might wonder, “What’s the problem here? … What is there to know?… Why can’t you just get on with it?”…

So then, if others don’t chose to nit-pick away at this subject to the same extent that I do, I’m OK with that…

But – in my particular case – I find that understanding something of the ‘who’, ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘were’, and ‘why’ of Working, helps me to keep ‘having a go’ here, at least.

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All these questions re ‘Working’ were difficult for me to get a handle at the beginning, However, I eventually came up with a variety of ways of approaching them … and some of these approaches were reasonably straightforward.

For instance, where it concerns, “Where do I start Working? … I now have an allegory that takes me immediately ‘straight to the starting line’ – if I can remember it in time (and at the time) that is!

(A) doctor doesn’t start with a book of cures, and then go hunting for a disease. He starts with somebody who has got something wrong with them; he diagnoses the disease; and then he looks for a cure.

Alex Elmsley.

The ‘somebody’ here, is me; and the ‘something’ here, is what it is that I must Work on…

This allegory also made it much easier for me to focus on Working primarily on myself; and at the same time to tone-down my attempts at ‘offering good advice in this area’ to others… Such as (using a cheerful, confident, tone of voice) – Quote, “Just ‘be here now’ – That’s all there is to the whole business really!” Unquote… etc. et al.).

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I’ve tried, in this post, to cover the important aspects of my response to this comment from as many angles as I could. But I would first like to remind readers of this blog that  – almost from the very beginning here, some eighteen months or so ago – I pointed out that arriving at a position where I could even structure questions re ‘Working’ correctly, was one of the major reasons for my continued interest – for at least the first few years – in studying Eugene Halliday’s material – because I didn’t really ‘get it’…

Almost at the beginning of my first post here then, in March, 2012, I was attempting to describe my introduction to, what was, at the time for me – some 35 years ago, this vague idea of ‘Working’ … And I wrote:–

What is the essential nature of this ’Work’? … Well that, for the moment at least anyway, is the ‘Million Dollar Question’..

But I have always believed that if you can frame any question correctly, then you’re already over halfway to your answer. So that was my approach… I was attempting to clarify what it was that I was striving to get an answer to …

Much of the content of my initial posts were concerned with describing how I attempted to move from a purely intellectual interest in Eugene Halliday’s ideas, to the dawning realization that they were all really a load of useless waffle – at worst a psychological toxin and at best a load of time-wasting hot-air – if I failed to involve these ideas essentially in my actual life, as I was living it moment to moment, as often and as well as I was able…

So uncovering the ‘essential matter’ of these questions for me (that is, the ‘what’; the ‘who’; the ‘how’ and the ‘why’, of this ‘Work’ and ‘Working’) – and as a consequence, making the attempt to embody my own limits to the applications of these terms in my actual situation (or, if you prefer – the meaning of these terms for me in the ‘here and now’) – became the real name of the game for me..

As a result (but I don’t think this will really help right now) I have come to the conclusion that my (current) response to the question ‘Who is working?’ would be that, “Everybody is working.” …. Although I would also claim, “Not everybody is Working.”

I’ve introduced this (rather short) answer, immediately above, here, because I believe it allows me to immediately bring into play two other important ancillary questions early on – “Working for whom; and Working for what purpose, exactly?” … Pondering over these two questions does, in my experience, also throw some valuable light on ‘Who is Working?’

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When I first started writing this post I did so by attempting to supply a direct answer to this question (but not the answer I’ve given just above) However I soon realized that I would be assuming anyone reading, and so hopefully, subsequently understanding this post, would need to have shared a great deal of the same background here as my own.

So – as to a bit of this background of mine then…

My present position here is a result of – not only my own extended reflexions upon ‘What is this ‘Working’ thing all about?’ – but also (obviously I believe) incorporates elements of what I take to be Eugene Halliday’s position (and a number of others – including Gurdjieff) on the subject.  So here’s a ‘rough sketch’ of some of this material…

Any understanding that I arrived at initially where it concerned Working, followed from my early decision to work on acquiring an ‘active language’; and to foreground two of Eugene Halliday’s concepts. These were:

  1. All that there is ‘Sentient Power’ … (a term I do not substitute the word ‘God’ for by the way – because I can’t get it to fit; and I find that attempting to do so only confuses things hopelessly for me)
  2. This Sentient Power can Work for the development of the potential in all being (but I don’t refer to all that it ‘does’ as  ‘loving’).

So, I would not claim then that, “God had ‘just entered the building’,” if I viewing something amazing in the natural world, but instead I would say, “This is an example of one of those amazing things that Sentient Power can become.” … And I would not, in the past, say things like, “That was done with love,” if – for instance – I felt I’d had a particularly good night on the piano..

So, let’s just say here, for the moment at least, that I’m very cautious indeed about substituting these terms (‘God’ and ‘Love’) when I’m mulling over something here with myself… However, I will use these terms when I’m talking with others about these concepts, if it can’t be avoided. But – if given the choice – I would prefer not to… Messy – and not very straightforward I know – but that’s how it is for me I’m afraid…

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‘To work’ is to ‘order power’. And for this ordering to take place, this power must be in motion.

We refer to our awareness of this ‘power-in-motion’ as ‘energy’.

So – if, say, you are presently ‘feeling frisky’, then this would not only be an example of your awareness of ‘sentient power as ‘energy’ – but also that you had qualified it to yourself by giving it the label ‘frisky’  … It is also crucial here to appreciate that there will also always be an evaluative component present of, “Yes!… ‘Feeling frisky’ is just what I need right now,” or of, ”Oh No! … Not now!… I’m trying to get some sleep!” – or of some evaluative component in-between.

You must also bring up this ‘energy’ in yourself (as it were), and it is you who must then direct it.

This energy ‘comes up’ in you either: as a result of you involving your Will here, in order to Work; or, as a consequence of your innate desire(s) ‘getting the better of you’… [This is a subject that constitutes a completely separate, and lengthy, topic on its own I’m afraid] …

So then, it is you (and not any other being – either immanent or transcendental) who has the responsibility for initiating this ‘getting things moving here’, in order for you to Work… And it is also you alone who must do all the Work here – with all your ‘warts and all’.

You cannot wait until you’re ‘suitably prepared’ – because there’s no such point in time when you will ever be ‘ready’ in this way; there is no ideally favorable ‘stars in the right position’ point at which it would be better for you to begin either – because there is no such place ‘out there’…. You cannot – by one means or another – enlist any celestial (or otherwise) ‘help’, because all that any other being can ever do for you here is point the way to the entrance door (which is all that I believe Eugene Halliday ever did) … And that door is going to stay closed until you yourself get up of your behind and onto your feet… And it is you who must then do the knocking at that door, in order to pass through …

Nothing here will ever be achieved by relating that you ‘knew, or sat at the foot of, Eugene Halliday’, or claiming that you ‘understand’ concepts such as ‘All there is, is sentient power’; or that ‘we’re all going to be reflexively self-conscious at the ‘end of evolution’… … None of that is Working… Because if it was, then there wouldn’t actually be anything to do…except to sit in your armchair – or (if you want to tart it up a bit) ‘adopting a yoga pose’ and ‘meditating’.

So here, I would say that, “All that Eugene Halliday ever tried to do for others was to attempt to get them to begin to Work.” … And would quickly add that – although an appropriate feeling of gratitude here would be just fine – the rest of it… the real part… the Working part … is entirely up to you … entirely up to you… ever last bit of it.

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You can only ever do any of this Work in the ‘here and now’, and you must do it purely from your own efforts.

And… Oh Yes … Eventually you will (inevitably) fail – no matter who you are, or how you go about all this … That cock is going to crow in your life (at least) three times whatever you do … And you must be ‘just fine’ with that before you even begin your attempts here… Just like you must be fine with the sure fact of your inevitable demise… This is something that you would be better coming to terms with, here… and now … and also sooner, rather than later… Because if all this is done as some sort of desperate attempt to ‘get something’, then it won’t Work…

One of the very few things that I try to do every day, is to contemplate my own death for a few minutes … and that seems to put things in some sort of perspective for me … it gets me looking at things in the right way… Often enough though, I will soon forget even this very quickly, and instead identify with the situation that I presently find myself in, and thus become dominated by it  … But, anyway, I appreciate that starting your day like this might not suit everyone…

‘Resignation’ then, is one of the (real) ‘names of the game’ here…

You must generate – within yourself – enough positivity to perform this Working… And you must do it for ‘doings sake’, and do it in the ‘now’… As opposed to, say, attempting to figure out ways of ‘banking it’ – ‘just in case you might need it later’…

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You will always experience resistance to your efforts at Working – because if you don’t  – then you’re not Working …

And where it concerns your awareness of this resistance?

Even the ‘brand new’ energy that you have initially acquired; that you have ‘called up’ from yourself in order to begin Working, will be ‘tinged’ with some element, or with some quality, or other..

Because, briefly, in order for it to be experienced by you as actually being available (“Where is it?” … “Oh there it is!”) it must possess some degree of ‘quality’…For you to experience this awareness. (To have this experience of it ‘being there’)…

Let us, for example, use the element – our ‘tinge’ – of violence or turbulence (very normal) here… This ‘quality’; this initial ‘adulteration’ of sentient power as ‘energy’, (which will probably not – for the moment at least – be focused by you on any particular object ‘out there’), will be continually attempting to influence your efforts to Work here … almost before you are ready to begin.

I make use of an allegory for Working, from my own cultural background here (‘European Judaic/Christian’) to get a sense for me of what all this entails…Which is that of willingly shouldering one’s own ‘cross’, and then attempting to move forward with it.

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My general impression is that Working – for the majority of human beings that I have come across anyway – is something ‘to be avoided at all costs’… Although laboring (‘going to work’) in order to ‘make some cash’, seems to be fine, at least now and again… Regrettably, for the majority of people though, this is, invariably, not the same thing, at all as Working (although it can be – but very rarely, in my experience).

Which is one of the reasons that I take as much care whenever I can, to differentiate between ‘work’ and ‘Work’.

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But luckily (you might say), for anyone taking all this on; in order for them to actually do any Working’ they must first affirm this choice of theirs to do so, within themselves; and so, of course, they can also chose to say “No,” to this Working…

I maintain then, that we all have a freely-willed choice here.

The attempts at avoiding Work; the legion of excuses; states of delusion, and of illusion, that are brought into the service of justifying this ‘No’ are – for me – quite magical to behold; and do (rather surprisingly, you might think) actually serve to reinforce my own view as to what it is that is really going on down here … With the result that I actually find myself further empowered in my own determination to Work … … Sometimes 🙂  ….

Which is a rather neat example – in my opinion – of something good (something that reinforces my ‘Yes’), coming out of that veritable legion of ‘No’s’ that I find ‘out there’.

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Here’s a pretty straightforward example of Working – and I would guess is a relatively simple situation that many people have found themselves in, at one time or another…

If you find yourself with a surplus, and you decide to give (some of) it away in order to help others, this is not, in my view, an example of Working… But if you have something that you have a strong desire to hang-on to; and you – none the less – still give it to someone else who you believe needs it more than you do – this I do see as an example of Working… Or, at the very least, I would see that this act as an example of ‘moving in the right direction’…

So I would maintain that Working is not necessarily some elaborate, involved scenario done on a special day of the week, under special circumstances, and requiring the wearing of a purple robe; or some grand celestial scheme, involving powerful Angelic or Demonic forces, or some other visitation from ‘outside’; or anything like that… But (thankfully) can, more often be any number of – to others – seemingly insignificant, or unimportant, activities..

And I don’t believe that what it is that you must do in order to Work, arises from being somehow presented with a finite number of ‘tasks’ or ‘tests’ (by some celestial being or other) that you are subsequently required to complete before you inevitably exit the world… Subsequently ‘going on’ to receive some sort of reward for your efforts here (or some suitable booby prize for your lack of it) either… As soon as you sort one thing out, very soon you will simply get another… But I am persuaded that you are only ever presented with one thing at a time to Work on. And although this could be taken as a contradiction to a great deal of what I have maintained here up to now – actually it isn’t … And you’d know this if you’d ever had a go at Working…

It’s more the case for me, that the more you can ‘see’ here, the more choices you have in your life – and so the more opportunities that you have to freely engage in Working… But that you can chose to do whatever it is that you are able to do …. or not….

Regrettably, there is a ‘determined ignorance’ here, that can easily be seen in the world – not only where it concerns the ignorant ‘impoverished masses’ but also in academically educated ‘folk of privilege and rank’ – in freely choosing whether or not to Work.

And I would claim that, although in reality, we are all in this – equally – together, the situation that others are in quite often seems to us to be more desirable than our own – in its presentation to us of ‘real’ opportunities for Working …

With the result that, rather than help someone a couple of hundred yards away ‘down the road’, which might see us becoming involved in something tacky, difficult, time-consuming, and with more than a comfortable element of real uncertainty – both as to the outcome, and how much of ‘our valuable time this is all going to consume’ – when it isn’t really convenient. We prefer, instead, to send our old shirts and socks to the local charity shop… That’s the one with the really appealing photograph of a starving child (or a kangaroo – but more usually a silver-backed gorilla) from the ‘third world’, in the window… and that the ‘Charitable Concern’ (and Co.) in question is very busily attempting to raise money for – minus administrative costs of course!

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People with my background – who are not only the heirs to a wealth of cultural history here, but who now also possess the means to easily access it via the internet (rather than, say, waltzing off to some remote and exotic corner of the world in order to ‘discover the real truth’) can quickly put ourselves in the position where we are really able to appreciate a view of the world in which we are continually being offered opportunities to Work. Because we possess so many inspiring accounts of others – from our historical past – who have devoted their life to doing so… And so we can freely decide to take part here also  –  by deciding (or ignoring, and so not deciding) that we will attempt to emulate them, if we are able.

And, in my particular experience here, I have also come to appreciate that this myth I chose to live by, has at its root the idea that if I freely chose to ignore these opportunities to Work when they are first presented to me, then they will be presented to me again and again throughout my life – but a little more insistently each time – until eventually (if I continue to ignore them) they will completely overwhelm me, and I will die without ever having accomplished anything Real during my limited time here; that I will have done no real Work; and that I never, in fact, ‘really’ existed – So there’s no ‘Hell’ then, in my scheme of things, because there would never be anything of any being to send there…. So it’s either ‘get somewhere as you are willing and able ’, or ‘ceased to exist completely’, for me I’m afraid…

And appearing – from the point of view of others – to have clearly achieved some measure of ‘success’ down here, isn’t really what it’s all about either, in my book…Although I would quickly add that success is by no means an automatic obstacle to Working – it’s just that it’s probably the most common form of (easily observable) engramic identification.

Even so – on a lighter note for a second here – surely all this makes you a deliciously exciting place to ‘hang out in’ for a lifetime  doesn’t it? … It can even be a bit of a real adventure – if you want … 😀

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To repeat again – most importantly for me then, is the idea that Working is something that only you can do. You must chose to do it, and you must take the full responsibility for it…

So not God, not Jesus, not The Buddha etc. al. not any other agency whatsoever, can do any of this Work for you… You have to do it yourself. And only those who do this Work can ever gain the profit from doing so.

I believe that this Working is the only way I have of contributing here, of ‘giving anything back’ for the amazing experience I have had of actually having lived … And that these ‘fruits’, that this ‘harvest’, is actually required of you… And at the end you must bring to the table whatever it is you are able (‘it’s the thought that counts’)…

You can Work at any and every moment. So there is no such thing as ‘a time to Work’ then…. The only thing that you can do is to decide whether you will (or will not) Work now.

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What you have to Work with, initially at least, is your talent(s)… This talent will get you ‘a hand in the game’, and – if you’re lucky – can also get you into lots of interesting trouble, if you chose to ‘push the envelope’ here, rather than ‘play it safe’… 🙂 … And this is where I position the idea of ‘profit’ or ‘increase’ (again, my cultural background helps)… Because you can always practice your talent, and so – in theory at least – get better at it…

Thus, you can Work almost anywhere at anytime (and you certainly can do so if you are in a real relationship with someone); and you can also structure your time here so that your attempts at Working bear fruit in an area that you have an interest in cultivating (your ‘talent’)…. And so, in a strange way – your strength here is somehow your weakness – because it will automatically limit you to those particular endeavors required in exercising your talent… But from another perspective (and one that is mentioned in that ‘comment’) this could be seen as a ‘mercy’.

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But of course you are also continually ‘ordering power’ anyway – and usually for any number of purely selfish reasons… 🙂

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And who can work?  Well any sentient being can work… Animals and plants can work – because they can ‘order sentient power’ …. I’ll go even further here, and claim that every thing that is in motion provides an example that working is occurring in that place’ (So that I do – from this perspective at least – support a pan-psychic view of things) – because every ‘thing ‘that comes to be’, does so as a consequence of this ‘ordered motion of sentient power’.

Although every ‘thing that there is’ provides me with evidence of working, not every ‘thing’ is itself ‘Working’… Because ‘Working’ (which is what I claim all sentient beings can do) is not the same thing as ‘working’…

Working – by its very nature – involves both, reflexive self-consciousness, and the act of ‘free-willing’. Both attributes that are (as far as I am concerned) ones that only human beings possess.

And, as my position here is not the same as others I have met who claim to be ‘followers’ of Eugene Halliday, let me – once again – make myself absolutely, unequivocally, clear here… We are already reflexively self-conscious (but most of us chose not to be, for most of the time) and we all possess free will (but most of us would rather deny that we do, because we can’t handle the response-ability of having it)…

You do not (and cannot) then, ‘practice acquiring reflexive self-consciousness’ somehow, until you can ‘do it’… (“Do you know darling, I think I had it there for a few seconds! … Oh Damn!… It’s gone again!…) …

But, if you like, what you can practice – anywhere and anytime – is ‘getting out of the way of it’.. 🙂

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Here now is a particular, and direct, example from me now, of, “Who is Working? … that can now, hopefully, be appreciated as having arising from the context that I have outlined above.

“I would say, for certain, that Eugene Halliday Worked as much as he was able.” …

Although I would quickly go on to add here that, in my opinion, his various talks, writings, and works of art, represent only one aspect of this Work of his… And that these do constitute – in part at least – the fruits of his Working; or, to put it another way, they ‘bear witness’ to the fact that he had Worked.

So, although I would claim that I have observed Eugene Halliday in his attempts to Work (by hearing him speak in person, say) I do not mean that the only time I believed he ever Worked, was during the odd Sunday evening, every month or so – when he spoke in front of a hundred and fifty people or so….

What I will add here though, is I believe that there would certainly have been periods when he wasn’t Working… Because – for any finite being – there needs to be time to quantify, and qualify, to gather, resistance; and this, then, needs to be ‘experienced in the now’ in order provide the ‘matter’ of Work … (And don’t forget here, “Nothing for nothing, and very little for a half-penny.”)….

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Although I believe then, that Eugene Halliday Worked a great deal, and that his attempts to devise accounts of ‘what it is that’s going on’ are – for me at least – extremely helpful in my own attempts. This does not mean I believe that how he Worked is the way that everyone else should Work … This is just how he Worked. .. And an understanding (or even a ‘vague appreciation’) of his ‘metaphysics’ and methodologies, is not at all necessary for anyone who decides that they will attempt to Work themselves.

And, in this sense, as to the contents of Eugene Halliday’s talks and essays – I would maintain that, just as the majority of what he had to say would have been incomprehensible, until the late eighteen hundreds, it will also become obsolete in the very near future … So sadly, not ‘eternally true’ for me either then, but – happily for me – fine for ‘here and now’.

Regrettably though – because Eugene Halliday did put his ideas ‘out there’, and because they were so powerful, those impressed by these ideas have subsequently invented all sorts of fantastic accounts of, not only what he was doing, but also what these attempts of his at Working made of him as a person… Which – as I have said on other previous occasions – tells you a great deal more about them, than it does about Mr Halliday

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Here, perhaps, is (another) one of those odd ideas of mine…

Until you have come to some understanding in all this – you can have no real way of knowing whether or not the person that you have just walked past who is sweeping the street, is Working more efficiently than Eugene Halliday ever was…

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

It is almost always the case – in the ‘greater world out there at large’, that Working is an activity which is only ever ascribed to someone who can put words together impressively – and then proceed to make a career out of it almost, by trotting them out whenever the chance arises; or who ‘wears a big hat’ and is ensconced in ‘impressive surroundings’ – preferably an ancient, venerable building … (‘foreign’, and/or ‘exotic’, can also helps a great deal here)…

But I would caution here that, “It is only ever a dog’s world – and particularly so if you’re a dog.” … And that you are only ever going to experience here what it is you really are – which to a large extent will depend almost entirely on how much Work you have done; even though – no matter how much you do, you will never get to realize fully who your really are, any more than you can ever know what is really going on down here… Because that would mean you could stop Working then … Wouldn’t it?

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My primary interest in Eugene Halliday came about when I gradually realized that what he was ‘doing’ was ‘the thing to do’ for me (I’m afraid I can’t put it any clearer than that)

Most importantly though – this did not mean to me, that what I had to do was ‘get to know what Eugene Halliday knew’; or, ‘Do what Eugene Halliday did, the way that he did it’.

All this became much easier to appreciate when I realized that what Eugene Halliday was doing, was striving to Work as much as he was able… (As Zero Mahlowe – someone who lived with him for twenty-five years – put it to me, somewhat exasperatedly, a couple of years ago, “Eugene… just… Worked!”)…

And, incidentally, this view that I came to have of Eugene Halliday provided me with a much clearer example, and a practical understanding of, the ‘ego’: what it ‘is’; what it is ‘for’; and how it functions in all of this… [And also, how it was that a number of people came to imagine that Eugene Halliday didn’t have one… An ego, that is]….

Incidentally, until this idea of the ‘ego’ is ‘cleared up’ experientially by those ‘who quite like the idea of doing some Work’, no Work will be done by them… ever… Because anything they do manage to accomplish here will only ever be ‘snaffled’, by that part of them that wants to parade about in an attempt to impress other folks – who are, of course, doing exactly the same thing themselves … (The words to Work on here – by the way – are ‘worship’ … and ‘idol’ .. (and ‘idle’ perhaps – if you can see it)…).

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To continue …

I would say for certain then that, “Eugene Halliday was Working.” …

And as the title of this blog is ‘Inside the Eugene Halliday Archive’ – I think it might be a good idea if I now focused further on explaining – in a little more detail – just why I would say so .

I had decided a long time ago, to ground any attempt of mine to supply an answer(s) to topics like this as firmly as I could in my own experiences – rather than to just simply highjack someone else’s ideas…

As a consequence then, my own method of attempting to achieve some clarification in these ideas, is not just to focus upon ‘defining the term used here, and/or research its etymology’ (although I usually do include this approach in my initial ‘pass’ at any answer)… But has far more to do with investigating that particular group of terms (which would almost certainly be different for each different idea here) which inevitably, invariably, and immediately arises – as soon as I focus further on ‘this idea that has captured my attention’ in order to begin this attempt by me, to investigate its current meaning…

It is these terms, I believe, that constitute the initial intellectual component of my personal relationship to these terms – at any one particular time…

In justifying the meaning to my claim – that ‘Eugene Halliday was Working’ – as an answer to the question, “Who is doing the Work?” – I would have to say right away then, that this justification would depend upon what I ‘was after’ here at the time… As this would determine ‘where it was in the moment’ that I had decided to began looking for the answer…

This approach might sound a bit strange, but it’s how this all works for me… Different points of departure by me then, would result in me gaining different perspectives (although these different perspectives would hopefully – in the end – all prove to be intimately related to each other in any single topic)…

I don’t want to go into any more detail as to  ‘these points of departure’ of mine now, because my thoughts on this process have become very involved over the years… And I don’t see that my elaboration – on what has become, essentially, a hermeneutic technique of mine – would add that much here at the moment… So I’ll just stick with attempting to clarify my claim that, “Eugene Halliday was certainly Working.”…

I worried away endlessly at the question, “What was Eugene Halliday actually doing?’ for years… And, although it is obvious, from reading his essays and listening to his talks, that what he was doing was, in some sense at least, fairly self-evident … That is: answering questions; providing information re ‘matters esoteric’; introducing his own – in part – unique way of dealing with ‘meaning’; etc… That was not, at all, what I was after… I was after something more ‘basic’ here – and I needed a language – that came ‘from myself’ – that I could use to ‘center him’ on…

So I attempted to ‘see’ him from a number of perspectives … And in order to do so, I devices a methodology that made use of – what I have come to refer to as – ‘groups’; or ‘sets’; or ‘classes’ of terms in order to clarify matters here to myself… (If anyone is interested, there is an (obvious) ‘mathematical and philosophical connection’ to this method – but it’s not important that this be understood at the moment)

What I will do here then, is go through one of the early sets of those terms that I worked on, as an example… As I believe that this is relevant to what it is that I am trying to clarify at this point.

The particular set of terms that I began with – those I though would help me to, initially, gain some insight into ‘Eugene Halliday as a being who was Working’, were – ‘mysterious’; ‘mystical experience’; and ‘mystic’…

‘Mysterious’.

It is mysterious to me that my wife almost always knows when I have been embellishing ‘the facts’… And even if there is (in part at least) a rational (all the way down ‘biological’) answer to what it is that she does, nonetheless I still find this ability of hers to be a bit ‘mysterious’ – even ‘spooky’… But when I hear Eugene Halliday speak, or when I read something of his, (which I would claim provides me with concrete evidence that he was ‘Working’) I don’t find this material ‘mysterious’ at all…

Some of it I don’t perhaps understand at the time; or I might not be too familiar with the source material that he refers to; or it might all seem somewhat contrived to me, from time to time….  but I have never experienced it as ‘mysterious’ …

I would claim that I found almost all of Eugene Halliday’s material – at least the material that he actually ‘put out there’ himself – to be extremely clear. In fact I would describe this material as being – at times – almost too straightforward for me…

And so one yardstick that I would make use of, in order to determine whether or not I believe that someone is Working, is to assess the degree of clarity that the ‘fruits’ of – what I consider to be – their attempts at Working, have for me….

Which also means, of course, that there could be any number of people out there who are Working – and so producing material – that I am just not able to  ‘get’; and as a consequence then, I could go on to open my big mouth and maintain that these people were not Working – when others would believe that it was blatantly obvious that they are … … Somewhat tricky this, then! … (But fine by me, all the same… as it all adds to the fun down here).

‘Mysterious’ is a term I tend to reserve (if I’m being polite) for those who – for example –  like to talk about ‘seeing UFO’s’; or who claim that they enjoy the occasional ‘out-of-body’ experience… So it is a term then that is, in the main, definitely a ‘no-no’ ‘for me, at least where it concerns Working.,,, And I would be extremely reluctant to apply the term ‘mysterious’ to anyone that I believed was ‘Working’ – although I would be quite happy to apply it to any number of New Age ‘gurus’ out there.

So – if I can now use my favorite metaphors here of a ‘journey’ and a ‘place’ – the term ‘mysterious’ marks a ‘border-line’ for me. And it is one of the ‘limits’ of my understanding of just who is, and who is not, Working.

Which leaves me with the option here to allow that it just ‘might be the case’ that someone who, initially, appears to me to be ‘somewhat (suspiciously) mysterious’, could indeed later turn out to be – in my (now revised) opinion – in fact, Working…

Briefly (!) … The Material produced by those who I would maintain are Working then, has to have this ‘clarity’ for me… But that they just might be (perhaps) ‘a tad mysterious’ at the ‘border’ …

I will admit though, that ‘Mysterious’ can often be ‘intriguing’ for me …if I’m in the mood…   🙂

‘Mystical experience’.

This term is far more of a hornet’s nest for me than ‘mysterious’. As it appears to be used as a label to describe anything from Saul’s ‘Road to Damascus Experience’, to the claims of New Age Seekers-after-truth, such as Eckhart Tolle, and his (quote) ‘inner transformation’.

A vital component of these experiences, it seems to me – on the part of those who claim to have experienced them – is that they are almost impossible to pass on to others in the form of a coherent account.. And frequent use is made of words like ‘ineffable’ and ‘unutterable’  … which does have the added advantage here of discouraging plebs like me though, I suppose.

It is almost as if the rule here is, ‘If the experience could be described, then it wasn’t a mystical one’… A state of affairs that invariably results in the sound of a very loud (virtual) alarm-bell, going off inside my head.

These incomprehensible accounts are particularly beloved by – for example – the followers of people such as Madam Blavatsky etc. and indeed, seem to me, to constitute an essential component of their ‘leader’s’ allure…

In fact, I find that the more mixed together: cabala; astrology; tarot; vegetarianism; collective nude-bathing; anything with the word ‘Brahman’ in it; Native American spirit chiefs; numerology; yoga; sacred geometry; King Arthur and Avalon; Hobbits; Led Zeppelin; Ozzie Ozbourn; Egyptian mummies; Carlos Castaneda; Telepathy; the ‘after-life’; Psionics; and the odd martial art ‘killer-move’, the more likely those doing so will be considered to be ‘in the know here’, and so become – possibly – the recipient of ‘much funding’ or adulation … …  ‘Way to go!’ then.

Hysterics such as Aleister Crowley were famous for these ‘stream of consciousness’ accounts – many of which contained accounts of meetings with beings possessed of weird and exotic names, such as Choronzon…. (There never seems to have been a ‘George’ or a ‘Deirdre’ about in these accounts of ‘other worlds’ – unless, of course, the writer happened to be someone like James Joyce).

Established Western churches have been smart enough to refer to these ’experiences’ as ‘visions’ – which allows them the intellectual breathing space to decide whether or not they were beamed down to their various recipients by the ‘goodies’ (so allowing these hallowed institutions to lay some form of claim to them) or the ‘baddies’ (in which case… well …. just burn everyone involved here … ‘for their own good’, of course ) …All of which I think is ‘really smart’.

So I would say that this is an ‘area of experience’ which is saturated with the bogus claims of anyone – from your common-or-garden charlatan, to your ‘full-on’ hysteric… And thus … extreme caution is advised…

But this viewpoint of mine doesn’t mean that I don’t believe anyone ever had a ‘genuine mystical experience’ – quite the reverse… I can also appreciate why it is that those who have had a ‘genuine mystical experience’ might find it difficult to relay their accounts to others… Because it seems to me that many of these authentic experiences were ‘freebies’… That is – that they just ‘happened’ … and that no special preparation was necessarily required in order to experience them. ..(An ‘Act of Grace’ if you prefer).

So, from my perspective at least, it is hardly surprising then, that the overwhelming majority of those claiming to have had these experiences would find difficulty in describing them; as these recipients possessed no ‘active’ language to do so… And that if they wished to subsequently describe these experiences of theirs, then they first had to Work at developing their own active language ‘in the time process’ in order to do just that – like the rest of us down here would have to.. (The development of Boehme’s account of his experiences here is a fascinating case in point here for me. As, in my opinion, he starts off with the [privately printed, and publicly circulated without his permission] extremely confusing ‘Aurora’ and then goes on – becoming more and more lucid in his writings – as he gains more experience here.)….

Rather, then, usually these people were ‘victims’ of these experiences if you like, and so, more often than not, passive to them… And I imagine that they were really just as bewildered by what had happened to them, as those who were attempting to follow the various explanations/descriptions that they were attempting to provide.

The big ‘no-no’ of course, is that we are here firmly in the domain of the charlatan; the self-deluded; and the outright liar… Because, devising ways of making up these experiences in attractive language is relatively easy to do so, for those with the ‘gift of the gab’; and this also has the advantage that there are legions of mugs out there who are only too glad to, not only be simply entertained, and enthralled, by these accounts, but also to part with large sums of cash, in order to do belong to the corresponding, resultant, club (cult).

NOTE: This viewpoint of mine re ‘mystical experience’ puts me in the situation where the only way I would be happy to elaborate further here would be to launch into an extended explanation of – what I take to be – the difference between cases where ‘the ego has been assimilated by the ‘self’ (a quite different entity from the ‘Self’ for me); and ‘the ‘self’ has been assimilated by the ego’… Which I’m not going to do right now…(But if anyone’s interested – let me know)..

People who I would see as having had a genuine ‘mystical experience’ would include Jacob Boehme and William Blake… Those who I would view as not having had a mystical experience would include Dante, Goethe, Shakespeare, Milton, William Law … and Eugene Halliday…

‘Mystic’.

In short then, I don’t believe that Eugene Halliday ever had a ‘mystical experience’ … And in my view, of the three terms here, it’s the last one – ‘mystic’ – that comes closest to saying something useful about him for me… But in order to support this claim of mine, I would have to tell you what I mean by ‘mystic’ in this particular case – at least what it is that constitute my ‘limits of the application of this term’ here.

The mystic, for me, is someone who creates a state in others – usually by making use of language, (either in speech, or in writing) – of believing that there needs to be some supremely important redirection in their life activity… This affect is, primarily, due to the result of the listener or reader being inspired (with the associated, subsequent experience of a sudden flow of conscious ‘positive energy’) by the web of ideas created in them that the experience of listening or reading here, has induced in them.

There is also a definite sense for me, from listening or reading, that the ‘mystic’ is looking both inwardly and outwardly (or perhaps ‘panoramically’ would be better) almost simultaneously …. That they can ‘see’ …. That they are describing something.. And also, importantly, that they are only describing one part of ‘it all’ at any one time … These parts would, for example, constitute the various subjects of Eugene Halliday’s talks, or essays …. This effectively means that we only get a part – and not the whole – at any one talk, or in any one reading of his… But also, confusingly for us perhaps, we can also sense that each of these ‘parts’  form part of  this greater ‘whole’ here…

Another important aspect here for me, is that any impression of the production of – what might be called – ‘theology’, arises only out of what is being presented at the particular time of the talk or essay. There is then the absence, or minimum amount here, of ‘mysticism’ present… A subject, that – when all is said and done – is just another bag to hold yet more theories and dogmas … just another ‘ism’, if you like.

The ‘mystic’ then, is characterized by me as presenting material that arises from personal experience. It is a ‘seeing’ that, at the same time as this ‘seeing’, confers the necessary energy required for producing a clear description of what it is that is ‘seen’…. Hence this ability of his to ‘talk from scratch’ etc…

The Work that – as a consequence of this ‘seeing’ – is being done here, by Eugene Halliday, is in the tying down, by him, of what it is that he is ‘seeing’, and the resultant re-presenting of it in some form of cohesive structure (in Eugene Halliday’s case, this would be his active language)

In my experience, what is being described by Eugene Halliday is often not of any particular ‘religious importance’ (although I think it was blindingly obvious that his focal point was a decidedly Christian one) and neither did this ability of his to ‘see’ provide him – as far as I’m concerned – with any, so-called, ‘psychic powers’ (whatever they might be) – although many of his ‘followers’ that I have met, appeared to like playing around with inventing suggestions that ‘perhaps’ he did have the odd one or two; or, at least, seemed genuinely troubled (or puzzled) that he couldn’t, say, walk through walls, or read people’s minds…

Rather then, I will say that Eugene Halliday did produce in me this clear sense that an integrative process and a unification – together with a sense of purpose and a state of conviction and positivity – was taking place ‘in him’ …. And that’s as near to admitting the possibility of the existence of an ‘inner-human spirit’ that I’m prepared to go… At least in print … 🙂

Most importantly in my view – where it concerns anyone else’s attempts to Work – Eugene Halliday cannot give his ‘eyes that see’ to others here… He can only talk, or write, about what he can see; and his words will have little meaning for those who lack at least some rudimentary vision in this area.

However, I have come to realize that there are those, like me, who – while we have great difficulty in articulating what it is that we can see – are reasonably certain that what Eugene Halliday is clearly describing, is also ‘out there’ for us… Maybe it is dimly lit, or fragmented, in our case, but – none the less – his talks and writings serve to confirm that it is ‘the same place’..

I do not mean to imply here that we must all somehow be ‘mystics’ here, in order to appreciate Eugene Halliday’s Work (I am not implying then, that there needs be some experience of an ‘election of grace’ in this sense here)… Only that the ability ‘to see’ seemed to have been experienced by Eugene Halliday as the prerequisite to this process of integration and reconstruction that he, as a consequence, went on to share with others…

Neither do I mean to minimize -what I believe was – his own sense of indubitable certainty here; but rather to take some comfort from his ability to overcome any difficulty that he had in clarifying this experience of his.

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The richness of his consequent conception(s) here are, I believe, his true legacy to the rest of us … and these then constitute, for me, the ‘fruits of his labor’.

Preventing the appropriation, and commodification, of these ‘fruits’  of Eugene Halliday’s by others; and providing a way of rooting out any distortions and biases (including my own) that arise from others, is essentially what my attempts at providing an archive of Eugene Halliday’s original material has been all about for me.

Oh! … And by the way, creating this Archive wasn’t an example of ‘me Working’ (How I wish it was!)… But was just an example of ‘me working’… Something that almost anyone could do – if they could be bothered, that is…. Also, I should add here, that in my opinion – regrettably – neither is ‘giving a talk’ an example of Working… And I mean ‘giving a talk’ on any subject… Take your pick: The Old Testament; The New Testament; Egyptology; Yoga; Atlantis; Gnosticism; Tai-Chi; Art Classes; Acting, etc etc etc. Because … obviously … if it were – then every teacher and lecturer in the world would be Working … Wouldn’t they?…

And this can be a major problem – that Working has absolutely nothing whatsoever necessarily  do with anything … Indeed, for me, Working is only, ever, ‘It aint what you’re doing, now; it’s the way that you’re doing it’, now’ … you might say.

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You have the opportunity to appreciate that Eugene Halliday responded ‘in the now’ to many of the questions that were asked of him, at many of his recorded talks… Because you have access to hundreds of examples of him doing so in the Archive … So why not stop for a moment and try to let that sink in… And ask yourself if you could ever do something like that, as you ‘are’ now … and if not, why not…

And then, for a little exercise here, why don’t you listen to one of his talks, and keep saying to yourself – every 30 seconds or so – “All this is completely unprepared,” for the hour plus that the talk takes to listen to… … … And then see how you ‘feel’ about that…

I believe that this could help you … if you’re really serious about Working yourself – that is.

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There is no magic in words, though, it must be confessed, they often exercise a psychological influence so profound and far-reaching that they seem to possess a miracle-working efficacy. Some persons live all their lives under the suggestive spell of certain words…

Rufus M Jones

What was Eugene Halliday to me in the context of this particular post on the subject of ‘Work’ then? He was a rarity for me…. Someone that I could observe ‘at Work’.. And his method of inter-acting with others here was done in such a way that he was continually demonstrating to the members of his audience how Working was accomplished ‘in the now’… All that they had to do was ‘be there in the now to witness it’ with him… (Regrettably, in my view, also something of a rarity… 🙂  )

For me then, that primary, active word that I was looking for, – that defining characteristic of Work, as far as I’m concerned – is ‘clarity’… You could call this clarity ‘The ‘signature’ of Work’ for me then…

If I experience someone as Working, then what I experience of what it is they have done will be this striving for clarity. They will not appear ‘mysterious’, or ‘enlightened’, or ‘on a higher level of consciousness’, or ‘holy’, or ‘spiritual’, etc. … but simply – even though they may not be all that easily understood, perhaps – clear

The experience of mine – where it concerns this degree of clarity  for me – will reflect both the Work that has been done here, and also whether or not I am – in the moment – in the right place to see it….

By the way – there is, of course, always then the distinct possibility that what might be very obvious to someone else here might be completely opaque to me… (Keeping this in mind though, helps to keep all the hubris and arrogance in line quite nicely … 🙂 )

This clarity that I experience, and which comes about as a result of my attempts to engage actively with the Work of others (Eugene Halliday for me in this instance) successfully, illuminates what it is that that had been Worked on… But if I were only passively engaged at the time – if I were just there, say, for the entertainment value – then this illumination would rapidly fade for me in an hour or so…

But if I were attempting to Work with this material myself (because I had been inspired) then this light would provide a much longer illumination. Such that there would now be the distinct possibility that what I could perceive could, consequently, now be formulated by me in my own unique, active way …

Here then is a reason, not only for the multitude of beings about who are – potentially at least – capable of Working, but also something of the ultimate purpose for all this in the way that things really are… And also, incidentally, what friends really are, and what they are really for…

‘Work’ ‘per se’ is not the important thing for me then. That is, arriving at a definition of what Work might be exactly… But ‘Working’ is  –  that is, what is it that can be done?

And so, a more in-depth appreciation of what it is that might be meant by Eugene Halliday’s ‘The limits of the application of terms’, for anyone attempting to Work, becomes the crucial factor here for me… How much of the meaning of all this to me, can I articulate myself using active language?

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Finally: You might find that posing the following questions to yourself could also help here – “Why am I the way that I am at the moment? What are the pertinent factors that have contributed to – or are determining – why this ‘who’ that I am at the present time, is here… now?”.. and, “Is it possible that I might – perhaps – get to elbow some of the crap, that’s lying around here, out of my way in order to move forward a step or two – and so, possibly, improve a bit?” ….

To be continued……..

Bob Hardy

October 29th, 2013

 

Before continuing on…

I must stress here  … that the methods I have devised to assist me in any presumed understanding of Eugene Halliday’s ideas or concepts, were developed exclusively for my own use; and it must also be clearly (and unequivocally) understood that I make no claim whatsoever to possessing any kind of ‘universal authority’ here… Indeed, I fully appreciate that many might completely disagree with my approach.

Bob Hardy – from the ‘About’ page of this blog

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Nothing down here is ever quite what it seems… … ‘Par exemple’…

(The lights fade up slowly to reveal a plainly decorated room with pale green walls; and dark brown varnished wooden floor-boards that are partly covered by a threadbare, stained rug. The room is lit by a single bare electric light bulb, suspended from the ceiling. The furnishings consist of a coat-stand – on which hangs an over-coat; bowler hat; scarf; and umbrella; a small table, on which there is a kettle, a few cups, and a biscuit-tin, etc; an old-fashioned electric-fire. Against the back wall, in which there is a door, we can see a couple of green metal filing cabinets.

He is dressed conventionally in a wrinkled, shabby-looking cheap suit, and is siting on a revolving chair behind a cheap desk, on the top of which is an open file. There is a large, black, old-fashioned telephone to one side of the desk, and he is holding the handset up to his ear and mouth…

He appears to listen intently for a few moments, before finally looking up and frowning.. He begins to speak).

…No, no! … What I’m telling you, is that we have not yet discovered any sure-fire way of guaranteeing that they will understand any of the clues that have been left lying around down here… Most of the time they simply just don’t ‘get it’ at all! … (He pauses) In fact, most of the time they just don’t seem to ‘get anything’ at all! (He laughs) … And in some instances they will arrive at a conclusion that is so bizarre – (He breaks off suddenly and looks up as if searching for inspiration) …. I’m telling you – you just couldn’t make it up! (He laughs loudly, and then listens intently for a few moment before continuing)…  

Well, as I say, not very many of them have the faintest idea …. But there are a group of beings down here that the rest of them like to refer to as ‘Artists’ … And sometimes, the ones that they call ‘Poets’ do attempt to create ‘more serious’ works. Often making use of – for some unaccountable reason – specific metaphors … For example, English-speaking poets are very fond of inserting the names of various Greek or Roman gods – such as Zeus, Apollo, Juno, Mars, Aphrodite, Hermes, Mercury, and Venus etc, into their poems to give them a touch of dignity; or Hindu Ishvaras – like Krishna, Rama, Shakti, Shiva and Kali, to add that little dash of ‘exotica’ here … A convention that they probably like to imagine automatically confers some degree of ‘special insight’, or ‘heightened realism’ in situations that they have come to believe are really important … … Such as an account of some famous battle or other where they – yet again – slaughter one another in great numbers; or descriptions of what they imagine are ‘heightened states’; or of what it is that happens to them when they inevitably die; … or other such scenarios …

Anyway, one of their … what they call ‘geniuses’ in this particular field of ‘poetry’ … a field that actually just seems to me to be a fancy way of labeling the creative output of someone who is struggling to present the truth as they see it…(He pauses)

..Well, if you ask me, ‘telling the truth’ is a discipline that – unfortunately – most of them do not happen to be particularly good at. (He pauses)… Which probably explains why they tend to see those who attempt to do so as somehow … special … I suppose! (He pauses and listens intently again) 

Well no! … I don’t really know how it is that so very many of them have managed to get themselves in this mess either! (He pause and smiles) You tell me!…(He leans back in his chair before continuing) ….

Anyway, to get back to what I was going to tell you about …. I have to say that much of what this particular ‘poet’ of theirs has created is very … insightful ….But he does get so wrapped up in trying to keep the style of the thing going, that he manages to make at least one real howler…

But, on the positive side, I would say that this particular example does demonstrate very nicely what it is that we’re actually up against down here … (He leans forward, pauses, and passes his hand over his face as if thinking, before continuing)

This particular poet’s name was Dante Alighieri, and he was around approximately seven hundred of their years ago – about 1300 AD their time … just before their ‘Black Death’ …. You remember that….

Anyway, (He waves his free hand and arm dismissively) he was a native of Florence, Tuscany, in what they now call Italy, just at the beginning of what the local tribes in the greater area to the North and West of this particular locale later referred to as their ‘Renaissance Period’ ….And he wrote, amongst other things. something the he called ‘The Divine Comedy’ … (He pauses as if listening) Yes … I know! What a ‘spot on’ title that is !

… This ‘Divine Comedy’ was in three parts, and the first part was called the ‘Inferno’ – which is Italian for ‘Hell’ … And look! …I’ll repeat that I personally regard Dante’s imagery  – his vision of things if you like – how he ‘sees’ all this – as amazing!… And, that in my view, this piece of writing is, in the main … and generally speaking … an extremely interesting piece of work …

But, as I say, he does make this extraordinary howler… which is in Canto III of this ‘Inferno’ – where he describes coming across a cave in a wood, over which are written the following words …”Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate” … which translates as,” All hope abandon, ye who enter in!”  … (He pauses as if listening) ..

Well of course we know what he saw … But … just wait til I tell you what he thought he saw! …

He makes this entrance out to be the one you go through when you’re on the way to what they call ‘Hell’… And, once again by the way, his descriptions of what is going on in that place they like to imagine is ‘down there’ makes for very interesting reading… In fact at their stage of development at that time, I would say ‘ten out of ten’ for effort (He pauses, continuing on in a slightly louder voice)

But of course he’s got it completely wrong!!  …Because, had he stopped to think about it, he would have quickly realized that no one here could ever be induced to abandon their ‘crutch of hope’ until they were absolutely convinced that they will no longer need it!! … And maybe not even then!!  (He pauses to listen, before giving a short, snort-like laugh) …

Exactly!! Of course!! … It was the exit from Hell that he’s seen in his vision! … And – if he but knew it – this is actually the entrance to the other place!!… In fact, if you look at the etching that one of their later graphic artists – Dore – produced of this scene, you can see it shining through all the gloom! … (He pauses again, and the lights begin to fade as he finishes speaking swinging round in his chair to crouch over the phone)

I’ll say it again .. And I really do mean it! … You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried! .. It’s things like this that make it almost worthwhile being down here! (Black-out as we hear the sound of the phone being placed back on the cradle) …”

 

Dante's Inferno - 'Abandon all hope ye who enter here'.

From ‘Fieldnotes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

 

Now we must also remember another thing… Every being has come on earth for the express purpose of learning what it means to be a human being. We come here to learn.. and we’ve got no time for anything else.

Eugene Halliday – from his talk ‘Magic’

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Notes from a conversation with Zero Mahlowe  (2007)

All that there is …  is Sentient Power… Modalities of Sentient Power are: Power to contemplate – to think; Power to feel – to experience; Power to act – to will; Power as matter – substance.

We ask the following three questions about anything: Why? .. How? .. What?

‘Why’ is a  Psychological Question.  ‘How’ is a Mechanical Question.  ‘What’ is a Substantial Question.

‘Why’ is concerned with motive, or purpose.   ‘How’ is concerned with process, or means.   ‘What’ is concerned with the benefit, or end result.

 Why do we wish to realize a given purpose? … For some benefit.

How can we realize this purpose? … By ‘such and such’ means.

What is this benefit that we wish to realize? … A particular state of consciousness.

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What we term ‘Human Evolution’ can be viewed as a movement of ‘Sentient Power’; as cosmic intelligence positing within itself ‘pluralizations’ or ‘beings’.

Each one of these posited beings has a purpose; which is that it will eventually be able to function consciously, deliberately, and by act of will freely from within itself – such that it will eventually be absolutely self-determinant, and absolutely reflexive … And when this has occurred, it will constitute an end to its evolution.

Various individual human beings, in the recent past, have been further along this evolutionary path than others, and so they can serve to provide us with an indication of future possibilities for human beings. For us in Europe, we can see this in the recent emergence of certain schools of psychology; in various accounts of ‘how it really is’ – generally subsumed under the broad umbrella of ‘mysticism’; certain schools of philosophy – particularly Existentialism and Phenomenology; in the rise of Quantum Physics as the ‘explanation’ for matter; and in the implications arising from the rapid rise of ‘virtual communities’ via instantaneous global communication on the Internet .. etc.

All these constitute, in the end, the various states of consciousness that are experienced by particular beings. These states can be viewed as attempts on the part of an evolving cosmos to precipitate itself into various states of individuation – a consequence of ‘grasping itself to itself’ – in order to create a plurality of conscious beings. 

The only way to arrive at any heightened awareness of the existence of this processes itself, is ‘to come to be what one really is’ … And the only way to do this, is by the – usually difficult and painful – process of ‘Working’.       

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

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Although I’ve always enjoyed both listening to, and reading Eugene Halliday’s material; for a long time now my major purpose in doing this has been to use it solely as an aid to Working.

Thus, engaging in some form of consensus here (something that most of the others I have met – who claim to have had, either some kind of relationship to Eugene Halliday, or some ‘understanding’ of his ideas – appear to consider to be of prime importance) is of relatively little concern to me….A viewpoint of mine that might seem odd at first, particularly if I also add here that, ultimately, I am not particularly concerned as to whether or not Eugene Halliday would have agreed with any of the conclusions that I have drawn from my interaction with his material – or in anyone else’s opinions or conclusions here necessarily, for that matter…

Working can have very little, even perhaps nothing, to do with ‘agreeing’ …Working is about coming to ‘know; ‘or ‘see’; or ‘experience’  yourself … who you really are; and is not at all about what it is that you would like to ‘know’; or ‘see’; or ‘experience’ here  …

One of the common over-riding major obstacles to any attempt at Working, is the inability to make the decision that you will – ‘right now’ – attempt to move on… A state of affairs that, in my experience anyway, is usually the result of being unable to convince yourself that you now understanding some thing (or some situation) well enough for you to risk using it to ‘stand firmly on’ yourself – without being overly fearful that everything, as a consequence, will all somehow collapse around your ears (although this is what will happen eventually anyway … … … … I’m jus’ sayin’)..

If you do hang around though, this situation will very often – in fact more often than not – further devolve into a pointless discussion (with either yourself, or others) – in which all that you seem to be doing is endlessly dithering over a series of trivial intellectual objections that somehow keep cropping up … The real purpose of which is, of course, to keep you firmly where you are, with ‘your head up your own behind’..

This is a situation that I would say that you will just have to ‘get over’ – and I can only stress that, in my case, I am continually attempting to make sense of all this only in order to move forward… So the idea that there is a particular body of ideas; or a state of being; or a physical activity, that constitutes – in some bizarre and overriding way – how to do all this ‘properly’, or as ‘the only correct method’, is not something that I have ever been able to grasp – although I would maintain (if I am going to stick to the metaphor of ‘a journey’ here) that everyone engaged in this Working must eventually arrive at the same destination….

Another common pitfall here is to make a decision that you are going to be one of ‘God’s little helpers’ in all this – you know, to be ‘really useful’ here if you can … and present yourself as someone who is ‘sticking around’ in order to help others here in their journey…(You really do want to move forward of course, but you’ve made the ‘selfless’ decision that you’re going to be the ‘last one off the ship to climb into the lifeboat’ … Because that’s the ‘noble thing to do’ .. Isn’t it?)…  A contrived scenario of yours which now gets you very nicely out of the problem of attempting to get up off your own behind, and actually demonstrate the far more difficult problem of moving forward the odd micro-inch yourself…

If it helps, here’s another way of looking at this … It’s a bit like the difference between actively seeking to develop an appreciation for gourmet food, by investing heavily in the process of seeking out – and then frequenting – certain restaurants; as against, not only learning to cook this food yourself, but also developing the ability to concoct new recipes.

Metaphorically then, you could say that for me, Eugene Halliday’s body of Work functions as a light; or series of beacons, or markers, which indicate a direction for me that I might be able to take… A direction that could hopefully result in me moving forward (as opposed to moving sideways, or even backwards)…. But that the selection for any of the clothes that I chose to wear; the things I take with me; those other beings I chose to travel with; the way that I experience this journey (and consequently relate to it); or the various means that I employ in order to navigate the terrain – these are all my sole responsibility. And any consequences arising from my freely engaged-in choices here are to be born, solely, by me. …

My experiencing of Eugene Halliday’s material as ‘effect’ then, is the production of this ‘affect’ in me – of a belief that if I engage with this material further, it will assist in moving me forward…. So, although I do believe that a sense of gratitude is most definitely in order here, this position of mine does not support any notion to the effect that the purpose of engaging with Eugene Halliday’s material is merely to somehow eventually emerge here as – at best – some sort of ‘intellectual doppelganger’, or ‘Halliday-ian apologist’; or that his Work constitutes some sort of lacuna, and that what I’m doing here is somehow filling in the odd blank – as it were..

Anything else therefore, that might go on as a result of engaging with Eugene Halliday’s material becomes, in this final analysis, irrelevant … Thus, over a period of time, coming (perhaps) to be addicted to – what you like to believe is – ‘enjoyment’ in all this, would mean – from my perspective at least  – that you have squandered any profit you may potentially have been able to realize in doing so; and will now, instead, be either content to remain exactly where you are (in order to further ‘enjoy’ yourself) or, more alarmingly, now be moving backwards …. It’s like claiming that Christ ‘really enjoyed’ the decision he made to lug that cross around those twelve stations, before being nailed to it by a bunch of Romans … (Apologies if I went a bit deep on you there) …

This way of my ‘being in the world’ I have found very difficult to describe to others (and quite  impossible to ‘pass on’)… Such that, in my experience, I would have to say that you are either ‘like this’ or you aren’t … And, by the way, although I’m quite happy with this state of affairs, I would stress that I don’t view it as – in any way – particularly desirable or advantageous … and I certainly don’t view it as in some way ‘an essential requirement’ for others in all this… I just happen to experience my ‘being’ positively in this way  – at least for part of the time 🙂 … The few others who I like to think I’m sharing this journey with, are nothing at all like me … And indeed … would probably be deeply insulted if anyone suggested to them that they were.. (Hard to believe, I know, but there it is) …

But I do hope (although, in the past, I have paid far to much attention as to whether or not it is the case) that other(s) in the relationships that I have engaged in here will benefit also …  However, it did eventually dawn on me that ‘being concerned for others’ here made it very easy for me to justify not Working .. (“Too busy pretending to be ‘Mr Wonderful’…”)…  And I did come to realize that – once having committed myself – I have a tendency to ‘stick around’ in a relationship or a situation here, desperately attempting to ‘fit square pegs into round holes’ as it were, even though I might be being told by others (and if I bothered to stop for a moment, would see it clearly for myself) that this particular situation has long ceased to ‘go anywhere’; has long ceased to be of any practical use to any of those involved – particularly me! ….

On the other hand, for example, although I have found that much of what I have been engaged in during the past couple of years has turned out to be excruciatingly difficult for me deal with – in the end it I can see that I have learnt a great deal about myself from this exercise … So… I would have to say that there’s also an element of ‘you never can tell until you’ve tried it’ here!…

[NOTE: By the way, ‘Sacrifice’ (in what I take to be Eugene Halliday’s use of this word at least) in the situation(s) that I have attempted to outline immediately above is a different matter entirely… Something you might like to check out for yourself though – by making use of the ‘Search’ facility of Josh Hennesey’s transcription site, located a click away, here]

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So then, is Eugene Halliday in some way essential in all this?…  Well…Where it concerns you, that’s not for me to say  … But where it concerns me? … My answer would be a qualified, “Yes!” … In the sense that I made a decision to engage in, and Work with this material some time ago; and that in having done so, I am aware that this would obviously limit me – as this decision of mine served to define and fix (or locate) me metaphorically, in this specific area.

This decision of mine – that I believe I freely committed to – can have a serious down-side for others who might try it, particularly if they are inclined to be neurotic, and somewhat insecure – and so liable to be more obsessed about matters of self-worth, than of making progress…

Because, although it can be relatively easy for them to appreciate that they are being helped by someone like Eugene Halliday. Due to the nature of the ‘transference’, and the matter of ‘projecting’ (processes that are normal, and to be expected, in this situation) – they will tend to cling to the comfort afforded to them by the social situation that they now find themselves in, and thus it becomes almost impossible for them to move on … And they will, instead, rotate endlessly around the object of their desire in this relationship of theirs (in this case Eugene Halliday)…. This result is usually accompanied by some justification or other – perhaps the claim that they don’t know quite what to do (yet), and that they’re not ready; or that they believe that they have already somehow ‘arrived’ – and are now convinced that ‘moving on’ is not what the game is about…

And even if you don’t fall into this pitfall, one of the first things that you must attempt to understand (perhaps ‘intuit’ or ‘have faith in’ might be better) is that if you decide to Work (although you have always and everywhere been capable of doing so) part of what can happen to you – especially when you begin – is that it will seem to you that almost everything, and everyone you are in relation with, appears to be conspiring to prevent you… …  Just so you know …

So, hopefully, it will now be a little clearer for you to understand, that for me, going away on retreats; maintaining a special diet; engaging in various practices such as yoga; martial arts; marathon running; painting and drawing; astrology; homeopathy and other New Age pursuits; writing poetry; playing music; studying (either academically, or privately); becoming an expert in anything from Anthropology to Zoology; writing dictionaries, or constructing Etymologies; becoming proficient in a variety of languages; etc. etc… None of these activities – in and of themselves – are necessary for any attempt by you at Working … and that further, these activities do not in and of themselves (and indeed could not), necessarily constitute examples of Working… Because, if it were the case that these forms of activity did constitute Working itself, then there would be millions of people out there who would be doing just that… And – as someone who would claim to have ‘been round the block’ a couple of times – I like to think I would probably have noticed that there were far more ‘out there’ than the handful here that I have actually come across …

Regrettably for me then, being surrounded by any number of beings who are all engaged in these various situations and occupations, and who – it could be claimed by others – are Working then … has not been my experience here …at all! … …

[NOTE: But I do believe that the question, “Who is, or who is not, Working?” is one that is far more complicated than this; and that any answer given will risk presenting those attempting to provide one (and I would most definitely include myself here) as being, in some measure at least, hubristic – or, at least, of being in continual, immanent danger of being so …. So .. be sure you appreciate then, that – in the situation(s) alluded to by me in the above few paragraph at least – this is only the conclusion, experientially, that I have reached… And I am not maintaining – at all – that this should, or would, be your conclusion in the same situation(s)]

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I’m going to begin the final bit of this post by repeating that it is possible (in principle at least) for anyone to Work in any situation whatsoever that they happen to find themselves in … And that once all the preconceptions have been cleared away – which, unfortunately, is a process that can (in my particular instance at least) take decades – the actual technique to be used is very straightforward… You might even call it ‘simple’ 🙂

As I mentioned in my previous post, I would now like to start introducing Eugene Halliday’s Work itself here, with a view to facilitating some discussion about it on this blog’s forum.

Here then, is a short piece of his that was first published in the parish magazine of ‘St Michaels and All Angels’ in February of 1969. There is now a copy of this available for viewing, and downloading, from Josh Hessnessy’s site here …. Click on ‘Written Work’ in the Menu bar at the top of the page and you’ll find it there…. Incidentally the pdf version available for downloading here also includes a scan of the original article.

To make things even easier for you, I’ve also recorded an audio version of this essay which I have tagged for iTunes … Now – although I’d be the first to admit that my effort here is not exactly ‘Richard Burton reads Dylan Thomas’ – nonetheless I hope that  it will still ‘do the trick’ for you – if, say, you want to ponder on this essay when you’re ‘out and about’ in your car… Anyway here it is: The Idea of Sin by Eugene Halliday – read by Bob Hardy  To download this audio file to your computer, simply right click on this link and select ‘Save Link As’; or you can just click on this link in the normal way and it will then play on your computer (but you might have to wait a minute or so for it to load in).

If you’re relatively new to all this, I would suggest that you attempt, first of all, to pay close attention to your initial feeling-tone here. That is – to the degree of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ that you are experiencing – as this constitutes both the ‘polarity’, and the intensity, of your reaction; and also to your subsequent analysis of this reaction. Be conscious that you are attempting to use your own terminology here. Strive for self-clarity; for the development of your own ‘active language’ – either spoken or written – and which hopefully, from now on, you will be attempting to refine continuously.

NOTE: I have already mentioned before on a number of occasions that it is possible for your attempts here to consist of some other form of expression  (or ‘text’) … Not a written or verbal account then, but perhaps a drawing, or a painting … or even a little dance … etc ..

Any viewpoints of yours that do eventually emerge; and any conclusions that you draw; etc, etc; should then be involved into some form of praxis by you, if at all possible … Otherwise what you have created here will ultimately turn out to be just another burden at best; or a particularly well-thought-out opinion of yours on ‘The Idea of Sin’ that you cannot prevent voicing to others whenever the opportunity presents itself … Or – perhaps a little more distressingly – this group of ideas that you imagine you now ‘understand’ (because you have concentrated on them) will simply fade from memory… The rule here then being ‘Use it or lose it’ – as it were …. …. (But I would say that you shouldn’t be too concerned about this last part for the moment….. Not just yet anyway … 🙂 …)

The idea is not to just ‘understand’ the essay – that is, to ‘have’ it, or ‘possess’ it … (although this is part of it – in the beginning at least). … Your major concern here is to appreciate what your relationship is to it; how you were affected by it (by the process of recalling it for now perhaps, if you can’t do this ‘in the moment’ yet) and not just simply ‘what it means’ (as this phrase is understood in  common speech).

If you’re having difficulty understanding what I mean in this last bit… This might help a little…

If you are reading something that is in your native language – unless it is constructed entirely of a technical language – there will always be parts of it that you will (let us use this word for now) ‘understand’… So – if you read something like, “On rotating the ‘calamaleno spring’, the ‘whiz-banger’ should now start to vibrate,” … although you mightn’t have the fainest idea what a ‘calamaleno spring’ or a ‘whiz-banger’ is, you do know what the rest of the words signify … However the Swahilli phrase ‘Kufunga mlango’ would be completely incomprehensible to you – even though it translates into English as, ‘Shut that door’…

Your depth of understanding is not what is important here  … Halliday’s, ‘The Idea of Sin’, can easily be understood by two different persons in two different ways; indeed, it’s possible for one person to understand it in two different ways! … What you are trying to do primarily in this exercise, is to drag into the full light of consciousness, all the other stuff that’s going on inside you when you are confronted with this text … And the first step here is to realize (probably to your complete amazement) that there are all sorts of ‘other things’ going on ‘in there’…

So striving to understand this essay isn’t what we are ‘actively doing’ … What you’re doing is attempting to develop methods of WorkingAnd no matter what smart ideas you believe you have come across here – what ‘insights’ you believe you’ve gained – if this is all that’s going on, then you’re not Working… And this can be the case even if the results of your endeavors here resulted in you winning the Nobel Prize – because you can deliver ‘the very last word’ on ‘sin, sinners, and sinning’; or that you find yourself siting on a platform next to the Dalai Lama, availing ‘one and all’ of your deep wisdom… … I would bet that you will – almost certainly – still be fast asleep here, and further, that there is more than a good chance you have never actually been awake … ever…. 🙁

Things to try to be aware of in the moment – What comes up in you just from being presented with a title like this? ….  Is there any intellectual content in it: Is there any emotional content in it?: Is there any urge to act? (There will be all three by the way – but at this stage you might not be aware of this)…

When describing this state to yourself, attempt to create as much interest in it as you can … It doesn’t matter what this interest is.. In fact it doesn’t even matter what place in the essay you start with – just strive to ‘engage’ with the text – do not attempt to just ‘watch yourself ‘ (whatever that’s supposed to mean) … Get yourself a bit sweaty if you have to, but you must involve (that’s something quite different from ‘observing’) yourself… Because it is only this interest of yours in yourself (and nothing else) that will generate the energy required to precipitate you into any creativity here… If you’re successful, you will then produce something (no matter how trivial you believe it is) that will be in some way unique to you… And this process that you have actively and consciously engaged in, is what will make you an Artist – just like Mr Halliday … Maybe a fledgling one for the moment – as far as the world, and maybe even you, are concerned at least – but none the less, a real one.

And if you’ve ‘done this right’, you should feel some real sense of accomplishment and possibly excitement here – because you find you’re ‘enjoying’ (if I might use that word) the exhilaration of relating to something, and not just of ‘trying to think of something clever’ here, in order to impress others…

Maybe – at first – you will be a little protective of what you’ve achieved, and perhaps a little too sensitive to criticism, but you must learn to accept this – not everyone will think you’re efforts here are wonderful… And anyway, very shortly you won’t care about that, even if you decide to write down your experiences in something like a blog, and almost no one reads it.. Because although you must Work in the open in the world (that’s just how it is) what you will be seen to be doing – to almost everyone who imagines that they are observing you –  is not what you are really (good word that) doing … at all!! It might even seem profoundly obscure and somehow ‘special’; or perhaps even ‘secret’, and ‘arcane’ to others …  A situation that can result in you never having a minute to yourself if you’re not careful, as these others will be continually ‘earnestly’ wanting you to explain just ‘how you do it’ – every ‘nut and bolt’ – if they can get you to;  or get you to give them advice, or attempt to give you advice; or perhaps even argue with you about all this …

Simply put 🙂 … All that you are actually doing, is engaging in the process of revealing yourself to yourself; and striving for ever-more efficient ways of supplying structure and feedback here to yourself… So, as a consequence of attempting to do so as efficiently as possible then, you should strive to press into service here, anything whatever that is available and that you can use – at any one time – in order to ‘keep you at it’…

If someone else happens to find your approach useful, in their own attempts at moving forward, then so be it … But – because of the way things fundamentally are here – you can have no control over this .. You can force no-one here … And you cannot do this for them – even if you, or they, wanted you to… It can only be done alone … Having a friend along here will help – but you will only ever earn one of these if you’ve ‘put the time and effort in’…

So, in the end then…if it helps … you could say perhaps that, “Working has a lot in common with dying.”…

I will be posting something on the Forum about this essay of Eugene Halliday’s towards the end of next month, and I would be delighted if anyone reading this blog decides that they would like to join in…

To be continued…

Bob Hardy

30th September 2013

 

Hello viewers…

This particular posting is rather long, and as it’s also somewhat involved, I’ve split it up into sections using these things – ◊◊◊◊

Anyway, here the first bit.

I would, first of all, like to tell you something about Josh Hennessey’s site, which is located here

This site will – it is hoped – eventually contain transcripts of all of Eugene Halliday’s talks, and also all of his written material, in the form of freely downloadable digital files.

However, the most important feature of this site for me is its on-line ‘Search’ facility, which will now make it possible to locate any particular word or phrase used by Eugene Halliday, in any of the files of his talks or writings that are presently housed on this site…

[For instance, placing the word ‘Lucifer’ in the ‘Search’ box will – at the present time – give you no less than 17 separate locations where Eugene Halliday makes use of it. A further example – the word ‘sentient’ is presently to be found in 68 locations].

So then, there will be, hopefully in the not too distant future, a way for those who are serious about studying Eugene Halliday’s ideas, to cross-reference his use of any particular word or phrase over the whole range of his talks and essays. A facility that will, I believe, considerably reduce the problems that might arise from the acceptance of a too simple; or one-sided; or ‘conveniently’ selective; or aphoristic ‘cherry-picking’, approach, to these ideas.

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When you’re interested – God’s interested

                                                                                         Eugene Halliday

 

I also feel that it is now time for me to write something about the events that took place round about the time – in 2004 – that I began my attempt to provide ‘one and all’ with a ‘Eugene Halliday Archive’… I believe this account is of interest here because – some 20 or so years after Eugene Halliday’s death (which was when I first began this project) – it was by no means clear, at least to me, whether or not some sort of selection process had been put in place (by person or persons unknown) that was determining just who should, and who should not, have access to this material. This situation was (and should still be) I maintain, a cause for genuine concern, at least until all this material is unequivocally available to all, without any restrictions whatsoever.

Broadly speaking, this situation centered around various attempts by a number of people to act, in some way or other, as ‘gatekeepers’ here. The major problem I had with this was that I could not actually get to the bottom of just how it had come about that the people – who were now claiming to be in charge here – had actually pulled this off. And frankly, at the time, what I did discover about all this seemed, to me, to be more than just a bit shady …

Before I start though, I will admit that – from what I’ve written immediately below at least – it’s fairly obvious that in the beginning, I hadn’t really thought this thing through…. And I’ll just repeat here – once again – that you are, of course, completely free to supply your own interpretations to my account here … But, on the bright side – and if nothing else – this account of mine might tell you something about ‘human nature’… even if it’s only about mine….

This section of the post then, is an attempt by me to relate: why I did it; what at the time I was sure the outcome of my doing so would be; and finally, what it was that actually happened … instead.

So, if there’s anyone out there – nine years on – who might still be wondering, “But what was in this for him?” … Here, once and for all, is the answer to that question, ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’.

I’ll begin by mentioning that, when I first began this project in 2004, Eugene Halliday had already been dead for almost twenty years… So I hope, dear reader, it is blindingly obvious to you that it was not as if I had ‘made my move here, before the corpse was even cold’ … as it were.

Some eight years or so previously (during the mid-1990’s – and particularly after the death of David Mahlowe) I could find next to nothing that led me to believe that Eugene Halliday was, in the near future, going to be anything other than a fading memory in the minds of a group of people who were in the main, more or less, ‘half-way through the last lap on their journey through life’ …(if I can put it that way)… And I would add here, that I can see nothing that has been put in place since, by those concerned, that addresses this problem.

Numbers here then, were dwindling  … (and still are) … and at an increasing rate…

Those that I did come across (between the late 1990’s up until the early 2000’s) and who were claiming in some way or other to be promoting, or basing their own efforts on, Eugene Halliday’s ideas, did not appear to be doing so at all, in my opinion ….

I was – beginning at around that time – concerned (and indeed I still am) that the opportunity to present Eugene Halliday’s ideas in an ‘unadulterated form’ to the public-at-large, while these ideas were still of some contemporary relevance, would simply be missed. … Either because of an innate desire to control access to this material by a gang of self-appointed ‘worthies’ (who appeared to me not have the faintest idea as to what it was that this material represented); or out of a self-centered desire to gain some sort of social standing by re-presenting various de-contextualized fragments of Eugene Halliday’s work, in order to legitimize some hybrid form of European-ized ‘oriental exotica’; or to shore-up the shallow sentimentality – in one form or other – of trendy, fashionable, New Ageism….

To put this ‘in a nutshell’ (!) …. If I could preserve Eugene Halliday’s material in it’s unadulterated form in some sort of archive – one that was freely available to all – then I believed that it wouldn’t really matter what the loonies out there got up to after that …

Crucial to my approach here, was that I believed Eugene Halliday’s ideas would either ‘grab’ the individual enquirer, or they would not… And thus, anyone’s initial response to this material then – as I saw it – was constituted along the lines of a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’…

I had figured out long ago that the appropriation of the Work of people such as Eugene Halliday (for just about any purpose whatsoever) was, to all intents and purposes, unavoidable…. Material like this will always attract more than its fair share of  ‘Seekers after Arcane Wisdom’ – for good, or for bad…. And so I took the unilateral decision to ‘go it alone’ here, and start something myself. Focusing on the idea, that even if it helped only half-a-dozen or so people, then perhaps this was simply a consequence of the nature of things  …

I should also add that, in my particular case (and I really have no clear idea why), there was one significant aspect to this response of mine – which came about as a result of being exposed to Eugene Halliday’s ideas – that was of direct relevance to this whole ‘Archive’ project. And this was that I was conscious of a definite and pressing obligation to make some sort of concerted effort here and ‘pass on’ to others the opportunity to both hear, and read about, these ideas.

…. But how to go about this? … … Clearly, I needed a plan…

The wealth of original source material that I had at my disposal – in the form of so many of Eugene Halliday’s recorded talks and essays – seemed to make the solution to this problem relatively simple. Particularly as I believed no requirement would be required on my part (or on anyone else’s for that matter) to provide additional elaborate ‘interpretations’ of this material; or even for me to claim that I necessarily understood this material in the way that Eugene Halliday intended  …

I believed that all I was required to to do here was to simply make this material available via the Internet, and that it would then, as a direct consequence,  just ‘speak for itself’ …

This outcome appealed to me very strongly … and it still does … And to put this another way – it is like the experience of ‘rhythm’ to me – you either ‘get it’ or ‘you don’t’ ….(you can of course deliberately ‘fake it’ – particularly if the people that you chose to mix with ‘aint got it’ either… and as long as you always take care to avoid the company of those that do ‘have it’, as much as you possibly can)….

All rather obvious really… Or so I thought at the time…

In doing all this, I believed that I would then have discharged any obligation that I felt I was under here. And further, that my project was (I believed then) so self-evidently simple in its actual execution, that my motives here could not possibly be mistaken for anything other than they actually, and obviously, were.

I would make my archive as ‘severely functional’ as I could – basing the design of my site on Eugene Halliday’s ‘sheet of white paper’ (an idea that he used over and over again in his many talks, but that no one has actually picked up on – at least as far as the layout of my site was concerned).

There was also to be a complete absence of any claims by either myself, or anyone else, to be an authority here… And I would still maintain that – at the time – you would really have had to be an imbecile if you believed otherwise… Particularly as this archive site contained – at least for the first eight years of its existence (that is, up until 21012) – nothing else except the above said files of Eugene Halliday’s material, together with a contact email address for site visitors who might be experiencing problems with any downloading…

Anyway, after I had created this archive site, my fond hope was that I would then simply sit back, and wait for the deluge of interest (which I was sure it was going to create) to simply wash over me…. There would then begin a wonderfully fruitful period of my life, in which I would engage in a veritable cornucopia of productive discourses with those numerous kindred spirits – that I was so sure must be ‘out there’ … somewhere…

My thinking here was also, in part at least, based on the fact that – considering the subject matter of much of Eugene Halliday’s work – surely the only people who would bother to get in touch with me here were (at least initially) those who had spent the 20 or so years since the man’s death pondering over his ideas…

And I further imagined – that as a consequence of this said pondering – these people would have many interesting things to convey to me, regarding their personal life-experiences… Life-experiences involving any number of the subjects that Eugene Halliday had both spoken, and written about … Including, for example: ‘Love (defined as ‘Working for the potential of all being’); ‘Reflexive Self-Consciousness’; ‘Tacit Conspiracies’; ‘Truth’; ‘Sentient Power’; ‘etc. etc. etc. … … How it was that these ideas had ‘played out’ in their own lives then … as it were…

That’s what I expected, anyway….

Because surely, this was what the essence of Eugene Halliday’s Work was about … Wasn’t it? …

And I thought all this was really obvious….

But many of those who did contact me ‘way back then’ clearly thought otherwise, and that I must instead, somehow be ‘up to something’… A reaction which, at the time, told me a great deal more about these people than they perhaps realized …either at that time, or indeed since…

So, sadly, I must now go on to tell you that a significant percentage of the initial email responses that I did in fact receive (some nine or so years ago) caught me completely off-guard…. As the focus of attention here was not – as I imagined it would be – on Eugene Halliday’s ideas, but rather on just who should have access to this material, and who should not.

Among the more bizarre communications demanding that I ‘cease and desist’ here, was a letter that – it was claimed – had been ‘channeled’ from the (dead) Eugene himself (it was even ‘signed’ by him!!)… And, my particular favorite – a warning that unbridled access to recordings by Eugene Halliday could be dangerous for the uninitiated listener, as ‘His Master’s Voice’ (apparently) contained ‘dangerous vibrations’ … There was also one particularly slimy ‘appeal to reason’ – an appeal that almost, but not quite, masked the writers own personal ambitions here ….  I ‘kid you not’ folks! …

Others here were overwhelmingly hostile… The most virulent being those containing commands to ‘take this material off the internet immediately, because it didn’t belong to me’… Which I will freely admit is very obviously true…. But that’s not the point here though … Is it? … What is far more pertinent to statements over ‘ownership’ here, is that those issuing these commands appeared to believe that, somehow, this material had come to belong to them! …

I have to say that I found (and still do) the notion that anyone could somehow claim to ‘own’ the ideas of Eugene Halliday ridiculous: or the idea that some self-appointed guardian, or group of people, had decided that these ideas needed to be, somehow, ‘safe-guarded’ …. …. In case of what exactly? … In case it fell into the hands of a covert group of neo-Nazi’s from Wythenshawe – who then used it to seize control of a chapter of the Women’s Institute in South Cheshire?  … Or something like that?…

The next group of negative emails were from a number of people who claimed (and indeed, some who still do) – and who had also somehow managed to convince as many hapless others as they could – that they were empowered by some sort of ‘process’ (be this process quasi-legal; or via some supernatural agency; or by having been a ‘friend’ of the ‘master’ and ‘sat at his feet’) to now be responsible for – what shall I call it – the exclusive dissemination of Eugene Halliday’s various creative outputs. …

The remainder of these emails – and there were (thankfully) a considerable number of these – were, by and large, positive in their (unsolicited) opinion of my efforts here – which was very encouraging. …So ‘Many Thanks’ to these people …

But not one email that I received at that time concerned itself with what it was that Eugene Halliday’s material was actually ‘about’…. And, aside from the fact that I appeared to had got my prediction as to the reaction to my efforts from a grateful public, by and large, completely wrong  – I began to find this state of affairs to be intensely interesting..,.

What on earth was going on here? …

You will now (hopefully) at least begin to appreciate why, at the time, I found all this to be acutely disappointing … even mildly depressing…

I had somehow (because I hadn’t really thought about it too deeply at all) convinced myself that those who were claiming to have embraced the basic ideas of Eugene Halliday would, at this late date, now be moving forward by actively engaging in – what I perceived as – his major ‘themes’. These would certainly include then: the breaking down their own inertic patterns of behavior, and ideas; or the repeated attempt to dis-affirm their own self-wills, and rather instead, the striving to always ‘affirm the good’…

And further, that by relating accounts of their various efforts here to each other, they would have created a genuine (non-hierarchical) sense of community. And even if these accounts consisted – in the main – of an admittance that none of those involved here were getting quite as far, quite as quickly, as was first imagined, and that none of this was quite as easy (or as ‘simple’) as it might at first have seemed it was going to be… None-the-less, all this could, at the very least, be a very good method for keeping the level of hubris, that is always flying about in these circumstances, under some sort of control; and also serve to mediate, what was clearly an innate compulsion on the part of many here to ‘be in charge of things’….

To provide a ‘mutual support system’ then … ….

I imagined that something like this would have been going on …somewhere …..

But alas! What I seemed to have landed myself in the middle of instead, was a bunch of ‘experts’’ who were all – on the contrary – simply intent on  ‘enjoying life’; or – more alarmingly, as far as I was concerned – appeared to perceive no real dichotomy between: the ideas of Eugene Halliday; those of some German guy in a white suit, who had recently moved to Canada, and was doing very well from his book and DVD sales; or the practice of some fashionable variety of ‘calming exercise’ – which was usually relabeled, and subsequently presented by one self-appointed ‘teacher’ or other, as ‘really being’ some form of an ‘ancient mystical (usually) Indian practice – A bizarre, hybrid ‘half rice-half chips’ version as it were, that they went on to peddle to an unsuspecting public as ‘the genuine article’…    …

And so then, as far as these ‘followers of Mr Halliday’ were concerned  ….It seemed to me that, instead of having problems attempting to understand – via a serious study of his creative output – just what all this ‘might be about’, and then involving this newly acquired understanding in various forms of praxis …  ‘Au contraire’ … it was all just … very … … peachy.

Which left me ‘right outside of the loop’ here. Because, from what it was that I understood Eugene Halliday to be advising me to do here in order to move forward, I was finding, practically, to be – at the very least – extremely difficult and demanding … and in some areas of my life, downright impossible.

But, as I say, the negative response to both the Archive, together with my subsequent experiences with others here, soon began to fascinate me… and I started to be intensely interested in the whole performance that was taking place here ‘right before my very eyes’ …

Because it very quickly dawned on me that this sort of behavior – that is, the attempt to control the dissemination of someone else’s ideas (particularly if these ideas were of a ‘spiritual’ nature) by some self-appointed group or other; or to de-contextualize this material and so ‘water it down’, such that it could now be marketed as a desirable and pleasant experience, was typical of man’s cultural experience(s) concerning (what others are pleased to call) ‘The Major Religions’ (and probably the overwhelming number of ‘Minor Religions’ too)… [That said, there are obviously other ‘cultural experiences’ here that are not nearly as ‘pleasant’ – but these, I would maintain, are still merely ‘the other side of the coin’]…

Monitoring all this then, provided me with all sorts of insights into what it was that might really have happened to the teachings of those others who had also ‘fought the Good Fight’ during our remoter (and recent) historical past…  At least in principle.

But on the positive side here, a close friend of mine pointed out to me that when I began in 2004 – perhaps for the very first time in recorded history – it was now possible for interested parties, without the mediation of any ‘self-appointed authority’, to conduct their own researches here. And to also be able to discuss their subsequent conclusions freely with whomever they chose… Thus developing their own personal approaches to the concepts of people such as Eugene Halliday, in complete freedom….

Interested parties could then decide for themselves whether or not those who claimed to be Working with Eugene Halliday’s ideas were actually doing so, in their opinion – by ‘simply’ checking any claims that were being made here with the actual source material  ….

And I have to say that I found this particular perspective on all this very appealing. Because I saw that it had the immediate advantage of providing me with a method of quickly ‘checking out’ whether or not any person that I was engaging with ‘in the moment’ here, had actually done any Work. Or had simply been attracted to these ideas for one nefarious reason or another; and that their enthusiasm was probably just some vacuous reaction of theirs at the time, and nothing – or very little – more ….

But could this new way of proceeding really be any better, or any worse, than what had been in place here for the past couple of thousand years?

Well, as I see it, even if it were the case that many here would still ultimately ‘mess it all up’ for themselves – a conclusion to all this that, I believe, is inevitable for all of us [And, “Yes!” That would also include Eugene Halliday] …All of these attempts to ‘go forward’ I believe – in the end – boil down to understanding, as well as you are able, the degree to which you have indeed ‘messed up’. Together with the belief – the strength of which comes about as a direct consequence of this very striving – that you might actually be forgiven for doing so… (I see that I might just have turned into ‘Baffling Bob’ again here, and gone all mysterious on you  … Sorry)  …

Many do live in hope… And perhaps – during the present aeon – the Zeitgeist is in the process of changing so rapidly, that man’s present traditional ‘hallowed institutions’ might, indeed, now be ‘on the way out’ … And that ‘something else’ might be coming in to take its place …. (I know … I just went mysterious on you there again for a moment)…

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My involvement with Eugene Halliday’s ideas has always stemmed from a belief that there was a decidedly practical slant to them…. And I always banked heavily on a conviction that I would surely … eventually … become so inspired by these ideas of his, that they might even succeed in getting me to off the couch, and into doing something positive…..

With regard to any advice from others about Working with Eugene Halliday’s material, there is only one requirement that I believe is essential here, and that is: this advice must have been embodied by those giving it.

And my own advice to you here? (!) … Do not be concerned about putting questions – to those who are attempting to pass on Eugene Halliday’s ideas to you – about their own particular, personal, experience(s), re the nature of those attempts by them to embody these ideas that they now claim to ‘understand’ and seem to want to ‘pass on’ to you: And do press them to tell you about just how it was that they went about this… And also to describe in some detail what it was exactly that happened to them subsequently as a consequence…..

Don’t be deflected either, by any sugary, sickly, conspiratorial ‘sagely pieces of advice’ trotted out by some self-styled ‘guru’ or other, to the effect that you should not, “Be afraid to gain your own insights here,” or something like that… Because you surely already know this, if you bother to think about it… It’s just obvious isn’t it? … Just keep insisting, “Yes, I know that! But what is it exactly that you actually did here yourself; what was the actual process that you engaged in yourself, in order to gain any insights here that you now claim to have?”

You can easily tell if these people are talking from fragments of Eugene Halliday’s Work that they’ve attempted to commit to memory – because they will usually dry up very quickly; or they will attempt to bring a fragment of an idea from another area – such as ‘Indian metaphysics’, or mention the odd philosopher (usually Plato) – but only ever in passing… And your lasting impression will be that whole thing never managed to ‘go anywhere’ ….

You are, in fact, listening here to – what Eugene Halliday refers to as – ‘con-fusion’ (The ideas being presented to you have been melted together – in the heat of that desire to impress you, on the part of the person speaking here) … Their intention here is to convince you (and tragically, often themselves) that they actually ‘know something about all this’… But the end result here is always the same… Everyone present ends up with a faint, polite smile on their faces … And a few hours afterwards (or earlier, more often) almost everything they heard here has faded from memory…

On the other hand, if the person giving the talk has embodied these ideas, on being asked your question here they will almost immediately – and confidently – attempt to reply… And you will normally now be aware of an almost unbridled enthusiasm – as they relay those very real, and crucially important, events from their life to you … And you will remember this.

Can you understand that they are not talking from memory here, but are talking instead ‘from themselves’. (I appreciate that this might be ‘difficult to get’ if you don’t – in some way – already know what I mean)… And so they will usually  be able to waffle on here for some reasonable time… There will be a little confusion perhaps – but this will be clearly experienced by you as a result of their enthusiasm’  … and you will have a definite sense that you have just been told something ‘real’ … Or – as Eugene Halliday would have it – you will have a definite sense that you have just been told something that made a difference to them

And you don’t need to develop that much sensitivity to feel this… But beware, because you might – if the talker has had a bit of practice here – be put into a passive state, just because you are being so superbly entertained…

Others here will have no scruples whatsoever about appropriating someone else’s experiences, and then relaying on to you these (pseudo) accounts as their own … They can even come to believe (tragically) that these events have actually happened to them (Weird huh?), like a certain kind of actor, who comes to wear their stage personae in their everyday daily life as well as during their performances on the stage ….

All of which isn’t really much use to you if you’ve gone along to hear something that you have been told will ‘move you forward’ here.. (Although you could always treat your attendance at one of these meetings as an exercise for ‘being here now’).

Listening to those who are relaying ideas purely from memory  – or that are ‘coming just from the head’ if you prefer – is not going to help you. Indeed those who make a practice of this are probably instead, attempting to draw you in into their ‘sphere of influence’ by making use of one form or other of ‘The Tacit Conspiracy’… or, to put it that more dramatically, ‘psychic vampirism’ … And when you’ve been sucked dry, they will simply move on to someone else.

Most of the time though, this sort of behavior is reasonably easy to spot with a bit of practice – because, if you’re paying attention (by watching your own reactions to all this here ‘in the now’ – like your supposed to) there will be too many instances of ‘the dots not quite joining up’ (because the person doing the talking has forgotten ‘this bit’ or ‘that bit’)  …

So, do be careful … This is a difficult game you want to play… Always be on the alert for danger signals… Such as a faint whiff of sulphur …

If some of this last bit sounds polemical  – ‘a bit over the top’ as it were – you might like to bear in mind that I have lived for the past five years or so, in Portland, Oregon, which is the New Age capital of the world … And I am, literally, surrounded by an army of yoga teachers; martial arts instructors; hypnotherapists; Buddhist monks; tarot card readers; acupuncturists; astrologers; regression therapists; wellness centers; zumba sessions; practitioners of Wicca, druidism, rosicrucianism; gnosticism etc. etc.; tatoo and piercing parlors; ‘medical marihuana’ dispensaries; Lesbian choirs; nude bicycle riding festivals; etc. et al,.. (to say nothing of the normal American ‘store-front’ churches; gang activity; and drive-by shootings; etc. etc)…..

And almost everyone I have met who is ‘doing this stuff’ here, shares one characteristic in common. Which is that they are all busy attempting to pedal information that they have clearly memorized from someone, or somewhere, else…

I do have to say though that I love it … And if I were asked to provide my own brief,  post-card description of Portland, it would be along the lines of, “Portland is  a ‘Spiritual Disneyland’ where people come to live in order to practice a variety of post-modern, ‘hyper-religious activities'” … … Perfect then for that ultimate ‘Celestial Pick-n-Mix’ … and to watch people ’embracing the truth in all religions’ as it happens …

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How I manage to pull it off.

The one, sure-fire way of Working with ‘Eugene Halliday’s ideas is to posit yourself as an object, and then generate intense interest in yourself as an ‘object of study’ – until you become the most interesting object in the universe ….

But you must – while doing this – strive as much as you are able to always be ruthlessly honest with yourself, and with what it is that you discover about yourself here …

And – if you are even going to hope to begin to do any Work that is – having discovered just how far below your own very exacting standards you are, you must, in truth, then attempt the very difficult task of actually loving yourself. …

This is why (if you don’t want to find yourself in the position of wasting masses of valuable time) it is of premier importance to always ask those you meet along the way, and that you suspect might actually be really serious about doing some Work, about themselves – as soon as you can …

Luckily for me, I have only ever come across a few people who appeared to me to actually be doing any Work, as I see it anyway…  [Perhaps I should change my deodorant?]…

Eugene Halliday in his talks and essays provides, at the very least, many practical ideas about how one should go about this Working … But this does not minimize the fact – in any way – that it is you, and you ‘alone’ (good word that), who has to actually do every single bit of this Work…

So that then, if I do claim to understand any part of all this, this simply means that I have attempted to involve that particular aspect of Working into some form of praxis – and can now speak of it out of my experience… Which is not the same thing at all as me talking about it, simply because I have come to present myself to others as someone who ‘knows what Eugene Halliday’s ideas mean’ …

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

Here’s a couple of much better ways of putting this last bit:

To create as some painters might, with a palette of concepts instead of colors, systems of internal consistency, logical expressiveness, or even architectonic beauty, is not the office of philosophy, though such activities might prove to be a valuable exercise in preparing oneself for that function; which is to examine into and discover the rationale and reason d’etre of this world, of this scheme, in which our histories and indeed we ourselves as well as our philosophies all occur. The bona fide aim of philosophy to discover the world in which we live, think, feel, sense, dream, and philosophize, has been too often neglected in attempts to justify the intellectual stencil which some system or school wished to place triumphantly over the world, at the expense of omitting a whole host of fundamental experiences and testimony ….

From ‘Illumination on Jacob Boehme in the Work of Dionysius Andreas Freher‘ by Charles A Muses (New York. 1951)

It is through direct experience that we come to know ourselves. It is through full engagement in life that all our senses, feelings, and thoughts come into play. Doing is knowing – what we do we come to know, and what we come to know is stored in our brains as our baseline of learning. We can talk about swimming, read books on the subject and learn strokes on dry land – but until we get into the water, we have no direct experience of swimming. So it is with life: until we do, we do not know.

From ‘The Drama Within: Psychodrama and Experiential Therapy’ by Tian Dayton. (Florida 1994).

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And now … on to those ‘Emotions’…

NOTE: A crucially important component of Eugene Halliday’s material was, I believe, his various ideas on the ‘Four-Part Man’. But it is blatantly obvious … surely … that simply ‘understanding’ the couple of thousand words that he actually wrote on this subject does not constitute an end in itself …  So if it is the case that you’re simply inclined to say that you ‘know’ about Halliday’s ‘Four-part man’ because you’ve just read the text, then I would be inclined to believe that you have no real idea about what it is that he was on about here.

I believe that the ultimate purpose of Eugene Halliday essay here, was to get the reader to attempt to experience, in the now, these ‘four parts’ for themselves. And that, like everything else that Eugene Halliday produced for others, this ‘idea’ constitutes on aspect of his material that assists in the task of Working on ones-self….

If you agree with me here, it should be simple for you then to view my ideas below concerning ‘The emotions’, as being connected with the ideas contained in Eugene Halliday’s ideas on the ‘Feeling body’, at least…

To begin this part ‘proper’ then ….

… So …. Here I am, attempting to systematize various ideas that center around ‘The Emotions’ in order to assist me to – as it where – ‘find out just who I am’…. And I would say that some ability at least, to  – as Eugene Halliday’s puts it – ‘Be here in the ‘now’, will prove to be more than useful here; as also will be a reasonable grasp of the of his ideas that are contained in the essays, ‘Five Things To Do’ and ‘ Four-Part Man’.

This exploration of mine involved a fairly rigorous exploration of what it was that ‘emotions’ might be, and was split into two major areas. The first of these was concerned with descriptions of emotional states. And this exploration I found to be, in principle at least, relatively easy to make headway with. As (in my little world anyway) any creative text whatsoever (any painting; music; writing; etc) is constitutive of these descriptions… In other words, that is what they ‘really are’ to me….

 The second area, involved various explanations as to what it is that emotions ‘are’, was however, far more trickier for me.

 [NOTE: That ‘first major area’ of mine (involving the descriptive aspect of ‘emotions’) I would prefer to leave to you (at least for the time being), and instead I’ll go straight into a little more detail here about the ‘explanatory’ aspect of this system of mine].

 … In doing research into any particular subject, I’m inclined to make lists (due, in major part I believe, to my particular psychology). I then delve into a particular ‘item’ on my list until I believe I have ‘gotten what I wanted’ from it…. I then ‘move on’ to another item on my list… And I will repeat this process until I come to believe that I eventually have what it is I need in order to move on…

 Sometimes though, I might just get fed up with the whole thing, and simply ditch it… Sulk for a bit … And then try something else.

 My approach re ‘explanations’ here is centered – in the main – around the material produced at the three major symposiums on ‘Feelings and Emotions’ that have taken place in the West since 1928 – beginning with The Wittenberg Symposium (Clark University 1928); followed by the Mooseheart Symposium (Illinois 1948); and finally the Amsterdam Symposium (Amsterdam 2001). To this material I would add ideas from the field of Analytical Psychology, including (obviously) the ‘Collected Works of Carl Gustav Jung’  … (I do make use of a lot more material actually – but these examples are typical.. And so they  should give you a good idea of what it is that I do here).

By the way, I do not Work with the material that I introduce into this system of mine with a view to becoming an ‘expert’, or a ‘teacher’, in this particular field (in this instance, that would be the field of ‘feelings or emotions); rather, I use this material to provide me with as rich a perspective on this subject as I am able to grasp… So the matter of my agreement or disagreement here with my ‘research’ material is not of primary importance to me…. It’s a bit like studying for that first degree – you read what your tutor gives you to read and then turn out a paper to show that you understand them …

It is far more the case with me that I simply need ‘a place to stand on’ in order to ‘look around’ – before eventually (hopefully) ‘moving forward’ …

I’ll now ‘cut to the chase’ then, and provide you with this list of mine.

Clearly some of the topics here contradict each other, but that’s OK, because – as I say – I try to work within as wide a field of the subject-material that I’m looking into, as I am able.

I now select the particular topic(s) on my list that I ‘fancy’ the most – as these will usually be the ones that I can assimilate the easiest – and I then try to move on ‘up my list’ to the ones that I don’t really fancy at all … Until I either exhaust all the topics on my list or – more usually – give up, at some point along the way.

I have elaborated on two of the items in my list below (numbers 1 and 6) as I feel that these can best serve here to demonstrate – in part at least – the actual inter-action by me with material contained in the Eugene Halliday Archive… (At least where it concerns my ‘thinking about it’). And also, perhaps, how it is that I might personally develop these major areas of mine…

 1.    ‘Emotions’ don’t exist.

This position might seem to be in conflict with the project here – but actually it doesn’t.

The bad news here is that you need to read ‘The Concept of Mind’ by the British philosopher, Gilbert Ryle (it’s a bit like reading Wittgenstein, only the jokes are better) – particularly where it concerns Ryle’s very own concept of the ‘Category Mistake’.

The part of this concept in Ryle’s book to ponder on (or at least the part that I pondered on) is the example he gives of some ‘foreigner’ or other (like an American, say) watching a cricket match, and who doesn’t really have a clue as to what it is that’s going on here.

The batsmen, bowlers, and fielders are all pointed out to our visitor, and their various functions are explained satisfactorily, such that our visitor now understands them.

 But our visitor then says something to the effect that, “Well gee! I can see the batsman, the bowlers, and the fielders – and I understand all that – but where’s this ‘team-spirit’ that you Limeys keep going on about?”

There are a number of ways of thinking about this… The way I proceed here is to imagine that our visitor simply removes (in his, or her, mind) everything that has been explained to them that is not this ‘team spirit’… And, at some point, I imagine that our visitor will eventually be left with nothing to imagine. At which time they will exclaim something to the effect that, “There’s no team spirit here than I can see!” … or something like that.

However – because we Limeys do maintain that there is such a thing as ‘team spirit’ – this result must somehow be incorrect. And it is this error that constitutes, for Ryle, the above-mentioned ‘Category Mistake’. (Batsmen; bowlers; fielders; umpires, etc. then, do not belong in the same ‘category’ as ‘team spirit’ for him).

[NOTE: A version of this reductive approach is, I maintain, also used by the philosopher Daniel Dennett in his book ‘Consciousness Explained’ – where I believe it would go under the fancy academic label of ‘Eliminative Materialism’…].

By discussing ‘emotions’ in certain ways, it is possible – because the person speaking had made a ‘category mistake’ then – to maintain that there is no such thing as ‘the emotions’. …

By the way …In my view, this way of looking at emotion demonstrates – yet again – the crucial need to develop ones own active language. ‘

2.  Emotions are distinct things – in and of themselves

3.  You only experience emotions when you’re thinking or doing something physical.

4.  Your body changes continually, and so your emotion change continually.

5.  Emotions emanate from the unconscious, and are only ‘experienced’ when they ‘break through’ into consciousness.

6.    Emotions are ‘energy’.

This view of the emotions would be very much in line with, what I would claim, is one of Eugene Halliday’s central concepts – which is that ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power’.

The dynamic aspect of energy – a dynamic created by a ‘difference in potential’, such that this energy can subsequently ‘flow between’ these differences – can thus be held in order to ‘explain’ conscious affect – and thus to explain the emotions.

‘Energetic tension’ in this case then, is more properly viewed as a ‘metaphysical’ idea, and not as a ‘scientific’ one.

Paul Bousfield, in his book ‘Pleasure and Pain’ (London, 1926), puts forward this idea by suggesting that pain (which is – broadly speaking – constitutive of Eugene Halliday’s, “No!”) is the conscious affect that accompanies this tension; and that pleasure (Eugene Halliday’s “Yes!”) is the result of its neutralization.

The beginnings of this homeostatic view of the human beings is (you might like to know) pre-Socratic … Anaxagorus maintaining that sensation depended upon irritation by opposites – which amounts to the same sort of thing.

So, if man is conceived of by Eugene Halliday as ‘Sentient Power’ (but as ‘circumscribed’ – and thus cut off from the ‘whole’ field of Sentient Power by this act of circumscription) then it now becomes reasonable, on this view, to say that any dynamic changes inside this circumscribed area that are produced, either internally (by thinking say) or from sensations that emanate from without, we will subsequently experience as ‘emotions’.

‘Science’ will evaluate this energy from without (by observing a being’s various ‘activities’ and then evaluating them) while the being itself will – by experiencing this ’energy flow’ from within, and by the development in itself of an aesthetic appreciation – reveal the ‘nature’ of this energy, by producing various ‘texts’ (philosophies; poetry; music; art; discourse; etc.).

Just how this ‘energy’ produces all this ‘internal stuff’ though, is the big question. But it would obviously require some form of collation between what is meant by ‘energy’ and ‘consciousness’, at least. …And unfortunately this also still leaves us with the problem of explaining how consciousness (as energy) behaves in ways that energy, in other forms (mechanical or electrical, for example) doesn’t.

However, if we view energy, in some way, as an immaterial abstract (which is how French natural philosophers of the time viewed Newton’s ideas of ‘energy’, ‘force’, and  ‘action at a distance’ – even going so far as to accuse him of introducing ‘supernatural’ ideas here), then it becomes a metaphysical hypothesis…. Which – you might like to know – A.N, Whitehead also put forward, in his lecture ‘Nature Alive’,

“The key notion from which such a construction should start is that the energetic activity considered in physics is the emotional intensity entertained in life.” (‘Modes of Thought’ (Lecture 8) – Cambridge.

Here’s a transcript of the whole lecture, if you want to read it – Whitehead 1938 -Nature Alive (Blog) )

Sentient Power’s ability to experience itself (in the case of ‘sentient beings’, this would be ‘emotionally’) I would argue, is the cornerstone of Eugene Halliday’s monistic ontology. For him, emotions are here, a subjective experience of the flow (or as he puts it, ‘vibrations’) of this universal ‘energy’, and which he refers to as ‘Sentient Power’.

‘Emotions’ then, could – on this account at least –  be said to occur as a result of some sort of ‘discharge’.

But we have not really removed a central problem to this viewpoint. Because, if we are maintaining that this ‘energy’ can be mechanical; chemical; neural; and even psychical, in nature, then we must account for its transformation (or ‘conversion’ might be more in keeping here) from one state to the other. Because we are, in affect, asserting here that – at a certain level, emotions becomes affects, and this greater degree of ‘energy’ will resonate with the ‘thinking’ body to produce mental affects (thoughts and ideas etc.); and also perhaps with the ‘conative’ body to produce physical affects (sexual arousal etc.).

So the problem here now becomes …”How exactly is it that the carrot I’ve just eaten changes into the  ‘emotional state’ I’m now experiencing whist watching this old Elvis Presley movie?” …Or, in another example … “How is my ‘mental activity’ (energy behaving as thoughts about various nasty things, say) ‘converted’ into the ‘emotion of  fear’?” …

And so on…..

7.  Emotions are actually what we are, and the thinking we engage in and the things we do with our physical bodies only arise as a result of this experiencing of these ‘emotions’.

8.  Emotions are ‘located in the brain’.

9.  Emotions are a consequence of ‘blood chemistry’.

10.  Emotions are the consequence of a stimulus and are thus ‘situation dependent’.

11.  Emotions are subject-object dependent. Emotions then are a consequence of the world as objectively posited by you, and so they aren’t ‘really there’.

12.  Emotions are a consequence of an earlier evolutionary auto-response, such as flight-fight etc.

13.  Emotions are those experiences that we can represent in language – less language then, means fewer emotions.

14. Emotions are the means by which the organism produces conflict within itself, in order to produce a course of action which resolves that conflict.

15.  Emotion is a disorder, a pressure from within that produces agitation and irresolution

16. Emotion is the force behind the creative act – the work of art having, at its root, a desire to resolve a pair of opposites, by synthesizing them and ultimately transcending them in the ‘work of art’ produced as a direct consequence.

POSTSCRIPT: Hopefully the material I’ve presented in the section immediately above has given you a better idea of how I might work with Eugene Halliday’s material; and how I might then subsequently attempt to incorporate the results, either into my own material, or into the material of others… I should stress here by the way, that I am not suggesting this method should be used by others….  Whatever ‘Works’ for you, is the rule here.

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Here are some notes of mine from one of my various notebooks that will, hopefully, set up the next section of this post.

If, from out of our own free will, we come to confer existence on some agency – that is, on some person, or some thing, or some body of ideas – such that we have now endowed that agency with a sustained potency. Then, even though we might subsequently like to believe that we can exercise power over it; sadly, it will more often be the case that it will exercise power over us

Beings will almost invariably reveal their true selves, when they have come to possess the real object(s) of their will – although I would now better refer to these as, ‘The object(s) of their desire’….

 At this point though, if you have developed the necessary ability through Working, it is now possible to see these beings as they really are – in and of themselves. Without the need for formulating any judgments; or of any ‘considering’, or ‘deciding’ on your part… You just ‘look’ and you can ‘see’…

 Unfortunately, I have found that this does not necessarily make it any easier to socially interact with these beings; or to formulate what it is that you see. Any more than your ‘seeing’ here makes the decision on your part as to your subsequent way of proceeding any easier….

But – ‘just seeing things the way that they are’ can help to strengthen your resolve to continue with your attempts to move forward … Should you decide that this is what you will to do.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

 

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(Scene: Lights fade up to reveal a theatrical ‘black box’ on the back wall of which is a sign that reads  ‘University Theater Club’ …

There are a few large black boxes dotted around the stage area on which are placed a number of coffee mugs; ‘working-on’ scripts and pens; and an assortment of sweaters and personal belongings; etc.

The impression to be created here is that of a bounded ‘working space’. The lighting can be random – except for those lights directed to the front of mid-stage and that serve to illuminate both him and the high stool on which he is perched.

 He is dressed casually (although perhaps a little too neatly) in an all-black outfit, which includes a turtle-neck fitted sweater. He has silver-grey hair, which is combed back and caught in a band at the back of his head in the form of a pony-tail. This pony-tail covers to some extent his bald spot, which we can just get to see from time. He has a darker, thin mustache, on his top lip, and also sports a small goatee beard.

He is holding a script on which we can just make out the title – ‘Romeo and Juliette’ by William Shakespeare.

 The impression he gives is that of being a (slightly hammy) director – in that his movements and manner are somewhat over-theatrical, and also vaguely androgynous.

He is in the process of addressing – what we cannot see, but we take to be – are  a number of his theater students. He begins to speak).

 We will begin by examining the role of the main characters here – that of the young lovers, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – in an effort to appreciate a little more of how it is that this process of ‘performance’ plays out down here…. (He leafs through his script – as if examining it) … Because – as I’m sure those of you who have been posted here would agree – ‘All the world is.. most definitely .. a stage’ (He looks up and beams) As ‘the man himself’ so famously wrote. (He smiles, somewhat condescendingly, before continuing) ..

So let us now go on to examine what we maintain, are some of those ‘expected outcomes’ here… That is, at least as far as our average, reasonably informed theatergoer is concerned.

First of all, I would say that we could be fairly sure that those attending a performance of this play as members of the audience would be certain that our two major characters are both very young, and also very much in love with one another… And that they are also very eager to consummate their relationship…a.s.a.p! (He smiles with a faint leer) …. And that without our audience believing … or, at the very least, during the course of our performance – coming to believe that this is the case … (He looks up and smiles before exclaiming) … Then this play just wouldn’t work at all (He puts down his script and looks out earnestly)…. Would it?

That is to say …You can put this work by Shakespeare into any setting you that like …. Be that setting traditional…. contemporary … avant-guard ….. But if Romeo isn’t desperate to ‘have’ Juliet … And if she isn’t just as desperate to ‘let him’ (He pauses for effect) ‘have her’ … Then it just won’t ‘get off the ground’!

 Remember…. What we are attempting to understand here is what bearing this experience of being actors, and of being members of an audience – the one they refer to here collectively as ‘Theater’ – has on things down here … And on what they are pleased to call, their ‘real lives’….(He looks up, pauses, and grins broadly) Whatever it is that they imagine they are!

But, “Which is which?”… “Which is ‘theater’; and which is ‘real? you might – at some point in your observations of their behavior –  find yourself asking …(He pauses and sounds slightly conspiratorial)

And I feel it is a good time here to take the opportunity, and remind you that this is the reason why – while we’re all down here at least – we must wear our make-up  (He raises his voice suddenly and exclaims) at all times!… (He pauses over-dramatically and smiles, before continuing).

But our major advantage here is that – for the overwhelming majority of them down here at least – there seems to be an almost pathological inability to attend… to anything … To actually…  listen. …To focus … on what is going on….(He pauses)

But ‘attend’ to what?… ‘Listen’ to whom?” … you might ask (He looks ‘past’ his students and directly out into the audience ‘proper’, smiling broadly) ….

Why obviously … To themselves, of course! (He lowers his head somewhat again, before continuing)

Capture their attention, and they will … almost invariably … go into a passive state of one form or another… And… incredibly … many will still actually believe…  that they are, instead, ‘actively involved’ …That they are not ‘asleep’ at all… But are… on the contrary … ‘wide awake’! (He half rises off his stool and looks out at his audience in mock disbelief… as if asking a question).

(He sits down once again and picks up his script). Anyway… let’s try to use the characters in this play here… and attempt to throw some light on all this. (He continues to speak while examining his notes… He looks up quickly and says, rather sharply) … And No! … Sometimes I don’t know why we bother with all this either! (He begins to speak earnestly as if he has now begun ‘lecturing proper’)…Your assignment for this section of the module will be to write a short dissertation of about eight thousand words or so… But don’t worry … I’ll provide you with the outline of what it is that I want from you at the end of this unit.

Let’s get on now and examine the two actors playing these two roles…. And let’s call these actors Rolf and June for convenience (He puts his script notes down and looks up intently) And let’s say something about their private lives… (He pauses) I’m going to give you a list of scenarios … and take you through them all briefly to give you the general idea…(He picks up his script and begins)

Here’s the list then (He pauses, looking up from his script and gazing into the distance as if concentrating, before beginning to speak dramatically).

Scenario one: Rolf and June used to be married … to each other… But now they hate the sight of each other. They have just gone through an extremely nasty divorce…. They are both superb, dedicated actors (He pauses dramatically before continuing).

Scenario two: One of these two – Rolf and June – is madly in love with the other but no matter what they do, they cannot seem get the object of their affections to ‘notice them’  …. They are both superb, dedicated actors (He pauses dramatically before continuing).

Scenario three: One of these two – Rolf and June – is madly in love with the other but is married to someone else and has a young child, and is desperate to keep this state of affairs hidden in the hope that it will ‘blow over’ …. They are both superb, dedicated actors (He pauses dramatically before continuing).

Scenario four: One of these two – Rolf and June – is madly in love with the other but no matter what they do, they cannot get the object of their affections to ‘notice them’. However, the object of their affection does know, but is not interested …. They are both superb, dedicated actors (He pauses dramatically before continuing).

Scenario five: One of these two – Rolf and June – is madly in love with the other but no matter what they do, they cannot get the object of their affections to ‘notice them’. However, the object of their affection does know but is not interested ….Because they are gay but haven’t yet ‘come out’ – because they are in denial …. They are both superb, dedicated actors (He pauses dramatically before continuing).

Scenario six: Rolf and June are a ‘couple’… They have been seeing each other for some time now, but both suspect that the other is cheating on them – with their best friend… And so they engage in continual innuendo… They are both superb, dedicated actors (He pauses dramatically before continuing).

Scenario seven: Rolf has always been gay, and June has always been a lesbian – neither of them has every engaged in – or has ever had any desire to engage in – straight sex. … They are both superb actors (Once again he pauses dramatically before continuing) ….

Scenario eight: Rolf and June are crazy about each other, so much so that they just can’t leave each other alone…. (He pauses dramatically before exclaiming dramatically) They are both lousy actors. (He pauses once again, and puts his script down before continuing)

 OK! That should give you the general idea here …. Here are the questions… What would you mean here if you were to say to someone, something to the effect that, “I’ve just seen Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’… It was a really good/bad performance”?.. Or what do you mean if you go on to say something like, “Of course they didn’t really mean it – because they were only acting after all.”…. Which of the above scenarios do you think would ‘work; or do you think all of them would ‘work’? … Do you think any of them wouldn’t work? … Why? … What would you say ‘acting’ consists in? …. Describe someone you know who you would say definitely never ‘acts’ – and why it is that you believe this to be the case; or, why you believe that everyone is always acting .. or why you think that everyone always – at some time – acts …

( As he begins asking the above questions, the lights and sound start to fade slowly, until we cannot hear or see anything)

From ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

POSTSCRIPT: The piece above is still in the form of a rough draft, and is one that I put together in an attempt to explore the dynamics between: the emotions that are actively and objectively produced by role-playing, but within some form of scenario – this would be our actor here giving his ‘seminar’ on actors and acting; the consequential production of deliberate – and, if you think about it – fairly predictable emotional states in the (unseen) students that we assume are attending this seminar, and who believe that they will go on to produce their ‘interpretations’ about what is going on from their own – as it were – largely ‘uninfluenced’ positions ; in the ‘theater audience proper’; and finally in ‘you’, the reader of this piece…

It helps me to examine the interplay of emotional states, and to perceive them as more complex (which they are always becoming – because they are always as complex as you are capable of dealing with) if I view the various components here as being ‘fugue-like’. In this particular case for example, the emotional state produced by the major character could be viewed as the ‘exposition’; the students who – because they are deliberately positioned by me as being ‘passive’ here – provide a virtual ‘development’ (‘in absentia’ as it were) – by virtue of the fact that they are required to supply a dissertation that would effectively serve that purpose; and finally, a theater audience (or you the reader) who would each supply their own private ‘recapitulation’, in the form of their (and your) own privileged understanding here – based on the viewing, or reading, of this piece …. And then of course … there’s me – the writer…

However, I will admit, that perhaps I haven’t yet exactly made that point clear here… But I am Working on it.

The initial idea seemed reasonably simple for me to put in place. But the consequences that I keep coming up with created severe problems for me in the subsequent writing of it… Because the piece kept collapsing into one conclusion or other that I was either not happy with at all, or was so unprepared for that I couldn’t come to grips with; or that kept opening up, in me, into the propagation of a multitude of  ‘alternative endings’…

[Shakespeare does a superb version of this (in a different way of course) in ‘Hamlet’ .. Particularly with his ‘poison in the ear’ bit … But I’m guessing that you already knew that…  Didn’t you]..

One positive outcome for me here, however – and the most productive aspect of it for me up to now – was that as consequence of my conscious self-reflection of the process here ‘in toto’, I came to be aware of a great deal of  ‘meaning’ that centered around the two words ‘authentic’ and ‘genuine’ …. But once again ….. I’m afraid you’ll either get that; or you won’t…

Like I say, I’m still working on this (!)

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Finally, here’s another chance for anyone out there who is interested in working with Eugene Halliday’s ideas, to join in on the blog forum here.

… One of the initial problems faced by anyone attempting to understand the writings of someone like Eugene Halliday is that – in many cases at least – these writings presuppose each other. That is to say, they exist in a web of ‘referential inter-textuality’. Which means that, as a consequence, you have to be familiar with all the major ideas that are contained in each of his essays, before you can really understand any one of these essays in any depth.

This, I believe, is why many I have spoken with about Eugene Halliday prefer listening to the ideas contained in his talks, rather than engaging with those contained in his writings… But I have to say that I don’t think this really works most of the time – because when I question these people about what it is that they have gleaned from one of these talks, the overwhelming majority of them appear – to me at least – to have simply only ‘sort of’ dimly remembered one or two, by and large, disjointed fragments.

What I think is going on here, is that these people just find the talks more ‘enjoyable’ (more ‘entertaining’) than the writings, because they are not as dense, or nearly as demanding … Which is fine as far as it goes I suppose, but it doesn’t really seem to get them very far.

On the other hand, I would say that the harder you engage with Eugene Halliday’s writings, the more meaning you will get back from them. But I appreciate that these written presentations of his ideas can be very dense, and that they contain very few wasted works.

A further complication here is that I believe Eugene Halliday did not write a ‘magnum opus’; but that he only ever wrote essays and articles. However these do – in my opinion – all ‘link-up’ to individually comprise the chapters of one large book… Although I would also maintain that it is a book he never ‘finished’ [but as I don’t believe that ‘finishing it’ was ever his purpose here anyway, this is not of any relevance really].

Luckily though, there is an enormous volume of Eugene Halliday’s written work that was published in the parish magazine of St Michael and All Angels, and many of these do not require (that much) previous familiarity with his major ideas. They are all reasonably short…. And I’ve picked one here that I would like to start a thread on the forum about. It is – I would claim – somewhat extraordinary!  The title of it is ‘The Idea of Sin’ … and it first saw the light of day in February of 1969.

In my view, this short essay is extremely thought-provoking (to say the least), and in fact I would even go so far as to say that it isn’t ‘peachy’ at all … [And indeed, I experience a great deal of Eugene’s writings in this way – but have met very few others who agree with me].

So I’m interested in what anyone out there might have to say about this short piece. It’s not on Josh’s archive yet –  but I have produced a ‘working-on’ scanned copy of it as a pdf here if you are interested in joining in … or even if you’d just like to read it.

I would be really interested in any comments you would like to post on the forum here regarding this piece…

So I will be started a Forum thread in the very near future for this very purpose …And I would also like to tell you that as well as being available for ‘Sinning’, I will also be discussing one or two other taboo topics there, in the near future…

So if you’re interested…do take a peek now and then … if you can make the time …

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I should also tell you that I might not be posting for the next couple of months  – as I will, instead, be bumming around Europe… But then again. I might!… … So …

‘À tout’ … … Then!

Bob Hardy

30th July, 2013

 

At the risk of repeating myself … …

The purpose of this blog is to provide an account of my own interactions with Eugene Halliday’s various talks and writings.

 So… This attempt by me is not an ‘explanation’ of what I think it was that Eugene Halliday meant, when he said ‘this’, or when he wrote of ‘that’ …. It is, rather, an attempt by me to clarify – as well as I am able  – how this material influenced my efforts to arrive (if only in part) at ‘satisfactory replies’ to a series of discrete ‘inquiries’ that were of major importance to me (and might not necessarily have been of importance to anyone else)…. And, subsequently, to incorporate anything I believed could be of use to me here, into both my ‘active language’, and in the formulation of various praxes…

For the next couple of posts at least then, I will continue on from my previous post (13. ‘Feelings’) and attempt to describe my interaction(s) with these talks and writings, by considering Eugene Halliday’s material as effect, and therefore – as a direct consequence then – of its subsequent affect upon me.

… Although Eugene Halliday’s various talks and writings obviously contained ideas and information that were of varying degrees of interest and ‘importance’ (imagined or otherwise) to me; they were also productive of an emotional affect in me… However, this emotional affect was not nearly as easy for me to be as conscious of, ‘in-the-moment’, as that kaleidoscope of reactive ‘brilliant ideas’ which would invariably begin to spontaneously swirl around in my head, the moment that I began to focus my attention on what it was that I was presently listening to, or reading.

The particular ‘affects’, that were experienced by me ”in-the-moment’ here (when I made any attempt to focus on Eugene Halliday’s material, in whatever form) would, I believe, arise as a direct consequence of a number of factors here. These included : the point that I had arrived at on my ‘life-journey’ at that particular time; the earnestness which I brought to bear in my attempts to move forward with this ‘journey’ of mine at that specific time; Eugene Halliday’s actual ‘presence’, as it was experienced by me at that particular time; and the very nature of his subject material, as I perceived it at that particular time…

But I eventually came to realize that it was my attempts ‘in-the-moment’ to focus on the emotional aspect of my interaction with Eugene Halliday’s material that was crucially important for me here… As this was the catalyst that both enabled me to experience a sense of moving forward – and at the same time led me into believing that I had actually done some Work…

It was then, the satiation of a particular appetite in me – supplied by my state of understanding, and not just by the matter of my understanding – that I had to focus on  … An’ in-the-moment task’ that also served to make me even more cautious of that ever-present possibility of my being deluded… As a ‘state of delusion’ can easily bring about (and usually much more quickly and pleasurably) this satiation – but of another appetite entirely!…

I believe that there is always freedom of choice for me here, which is to either ‘just’ surrender to one of my various delusions – the usual purpose of which is to provide myself with a relatively easier route to feeling good about myself in the things that I do; or to be as honest with myself as I could, and attempt instead to satisfy my appetite for my (self-imposed) ‘love of truth’ – a much harder route, and one that, more often than not, required me to accept some thing(s) about myself that weren’t particularly wonderful … 

The decision here was (and always is) for me alone to realize. And so, in order to strengthen my resolve here, it became crucial for me to believe that grasping this emerging viewpoint of attempting to be conscious of my emotional states in-the-moment with regard to the study of Eugene Halliday’s material would actively assist in producing those changes within me that would be of significant help in moving me forward…And thus I had to somehow endow his material with authentic value, and not with just some vague, sycophantic  ‘appreciation’.. Or – to put it another way – this value that I gave it, had to be a real one for me…. Because if it wasn’t real for me, then nothing was going to happen.

It wasn’t just my reflextion in-the-moment of these emotional states only that I had to realize were important, but also how I subsequently – upon reflexion – defined the meaning of them, using – if possible – my acquired active language to-date . A language that seemed to me to be evolving spontaneously, as it involved itself in the various process(es) going on within me here….

As you have no doubt already spotted, all this is extremely difficult for me to articulate – as this process of explaining what is involved here is not at all the same thing as my merely having to describe it… (Try to explain exactly what it is that you are doing when you ‘walk’, or what it is that you do when you ‘breath’ – as opposed to, say, merely describing what walking, or breathing, ‘is’ – and you might experience something like this difficulty of mine here for yourself) … …

Cultivating a cohesive approach here then, or of even being able to ponder over this process in some constructive way, has really been the most illusive thing for me to bring into any focus… And it is also certainly the most difficult to articulate to another – although, funnily enough, if I do discuss this subject with someone who has also actually been engaged in any experientially similar activities, the attempt by me to articulate my experiences here becomes, very quickly, (relatively) easier for me….

And deciding that you are now ‘going to get to know yourself’, brings the question of your involvement here with others – your various relationships, new or old, that is – into much sharper focus. And although I would agree with the idea that it is only natural to seek the company of others who are engaged in a similar quest here, the problems created by these relationships – because they are predicated on this particular aspect of your life – are very real, and very dangerous… Indeed, in my experience, the very next thing that will happen in your life after you have decided that you are going to ‘improve yourself’ will be that some ‘thing or other’ will immediately seek to prevent you doing so (call these various oppositions that you now experience ‘Things Demonic’ if this idea serves to focus your attention on this problem, or if you prefer to view this quest of yours using somewhat traditional Western metaphors and allegories – I don’t personally label them quite like this, but it’s an allegorical perspective that I have no problem understanding, and so it certainly helps me in my discussions, vis-a-vis this problem with, and about, others here)..

A question you could ask yourself here which might get you to see this is, “Will I experience any resistance to this noble endeavor of mine to ‘move forward and get to know myself’ as some sort of excruciatingly difficult and uncomfortable test – where I’m being tortured, or I have to sweat and strain, or I suddenly see myself as some kind of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ monster … and it’s all very dramatic and overpowering … Or will it rather be the case, that every time I decide that I need to take another step, I’m overcome with this overwhelming desire to make a cup of tea or coffee, sit on the couch, open a packet of digestive biscuits,  and then watch that ‘very important’ program that I recorded last night.”…

So will it now be that you find yourself joining yet another ‘wonderful’ new group that you ‘just happen’ to have ‘discovered’ (yoga, theosophist, ‘new age’, or whatever – it doesn’t really matter) who – you find yourself now believing – know lots and lots about ‘all this’, and indeed have an ‘ancient tradition’ (usually ‘sacred’ or ‘secret’) going back thousands of years (and so they must ‘really’ know what it’s ‘all about’ then) and who are ‘in touch’ with ‘something or other’, and that you are, in future, going to ‘be doing’ this traveling of yours with  … And it’s all ‘so wonderful’, because you feel far more safe and secure (like ‘coming home’) now… (Now that you’ve been shown the ‘real path’, that is) … And – even better – that you’re now, finally, at last, ‘with like minds’ … And of course if anything screws up here, you will just tell yourself that it was probably because you’ve either misunderstood some of the ‘essential’ stuff (you just ‘missed it’ as it were) – as there does seem to an awful lot that you need to know here, and much of it uses words in ways that you’re not familiar with, or have never heard before, or are in a foreign obscure language; … or that you’ve ‘just simply’ made a mistake and joined the wrong group (again), and it was perfectly reasonable for you to have to ‘stick with it’ for some time at least, but now you’ve ‘realized’ that it wasn’t for you after-all…This was then an ‘understandable’ mistake – you believe – and, with regrets of course, you will simply now have to ‘move on’….

Well, of course, you won’t be ‘moving on’ at all – you’ll simply continue, at best, to ‘slip sideways’…  As those ‘groups’ that you join – and the consequent relationships that you form in these groups – almost certainly constitute just another, but far subtler, aspect of your very own original problem…

But …I know … in your case … “It’s different!” … Isn’t it? … …..Well…  No it (almost certainly) isn’t … At least in my experience of all this, I’m afraid …

This problem constitutes a different, and difficult, complex subject in itself –  and hopefully I will get to it in more detail in a later posting …. But before I do leave it, here’s a quote in the meantime that might help to throw further light on the subject.

Yet .. anxiety … is not the only barrier to an acceptance of new and novel circumstances. Their is also our sense of threat from our inability to comprehend them, since we are too firmly attached to the old consciousness structure. Seen from the old standpoint, the new seems suprarealistic or supernatural; and, in fact, with reference to the old consciousness structure, the new not only appears to transcend and supersede the old reality but actually does so. We are then left with what seems to us to be the only alternative; we try to adapt or assimilate the new into the old, at the expense of course of the integrity and verity of the new. It is such attempts at explaining the new on the basis of the old, using old concepts, rather than allowing the new to stand out in its originality against the old background, that give rise to the misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and objections.

From Chaper 3 of ‘The Ever Present Origin’
by Jean Gebser (trans. by Noel Barstad)
Published by Ohio University Press 1989

You might say that this problem is – in part at least – about storing new wine in old wine-skins; or of realizing that the ‘rock’ you took so much care in selecting for that foundation of yours, will inevitably – and sooner rather than later – turn to sand … Because that’s what rocks do… It’s where that sand you’re always so concerned about comes from … It in ‘the very nature of these things’ … And so it just ‘goes with the gig’ … … … As us hipsters like to say ..

…Anyway … To continue on here …

 (Lights fade-up to reveal what appears to be a small office, complete with filing cabinets etc. – circa 1960’s. He is facing us, seated behind a desk, dressed in a conventional suit complete with white shirt and tie; and is speaking into a black, old-fashioned, telephone handset, which is connected – via a thick curly lead – to the base that we can clearly see on his desk. He appears to be somewhat exasperated with his conversation, and we get the distinct impression that he is reporting to a senior, and is having some difficulty in clarifying his situation)..

Look … The way you’re seeing all this … It’s not really helping me ….. I …(He pauses to listen)

Look, I know that it’s… … Look! I know…. (He is almost shouting now)..Look! …(He lowers his voice) I know it’s obvious – at least to us it is! … But it isn’t to them… They just don’t seem to… ‘Get … it’!… At all!…

You can explain it to them, over, and over, and over, again …And sometimes you almost believe that they understand what it is you’ve just told them… They’ll even give you good feedback occasionally!…Or – what is even more baffling – appear at times to make an actual contribution!… 

But, in the end, no matter what I try… And I do appreciate your suggestions here … They still just don’t …’Get it’… …Which makes all this very difficult …

As soon as they hear something, or read something, or see something that … ‘captures’ … their attention – and ‘captures’ really is the right word here, particularly if the situation that they find themselves in strikes a numinous chord – then… ‘Off they go’!! ….

So, if they believe they’re engaged in something that is – what they like to call – ‘spiritual’ …And NO!… I don’t really know what they mean by that either! … Or ‘religious’ … which is a word that they seem to use to talk about patterns of social behavior that some of them like to indulge in; and that is supposed to demonstrate their ‘godliness’… Whatever that’s supposed to be! …Then I have to stop .. and start the dance with them – from the beginning – all over again..

And so its a case of, “Let’s rewind the music again people, and this time let’s all really try to remember not to rush.” …… Talk about ‘two left feet’! …(He pauses)

I know! .. I agree! … It IS crazy! (He is almost shouting again) … …

(He once again lowers the tone of his voice) Anyway, as I say, the minute their attention is captured in this way … ‘Down they fall’…(He takes out a handkerchief and wipes his brow with it, before replacing it in his jacket pocket)

It would never occur to them, to simply ask themselves, “What is actually going on here?” … Because they have become so completely enthralled by the way that they now ‘feel’, it has, once again, become almost impossible to reach them……(He stops, and appears to be listening closely)

Well, for instance  … If they’re attending a talk given by one of their ‘gurus’ … The question that they should so obviously all be asking themselves – “What is it that is happening now to this person while they are speaking to us?” – never even seems to occur to them! … It is always, and ever, only about themselves…  Such that, if I were to ask them immediately afterwards, “What then, is becoming here?” I don’t think they’d understand me at all!…The best I could expect is that they’d probably look down at the floor, shuffle their feet a bit, look decidedly uncomfortable and say something like, “What do you mean?”… and then mutter something about me being far too  ‘obscure’, while obviously all feeling very exposed …  Or something like that!

I keep telling them, “Just because you imagine that you have met someone who believes that they can tell you ‘the way it is down here’ … this belief of yours doesn’t mean that they can do so – because how would you know if they could? …And secondly, that even if these ‘gurus’ do ‘know’, this doesn’t mean that they are somehow different, in some fundamental way, from you… It isn’t as if they are beings who ‘know something’ or who are ‘doing something’…. else!… something ‘other’ … Something so ‘fundamentally other’ … that you couldn’t do it!… What the … Hell … use … on ‘earth‘ (He laughs quickly in a resigned manner) would that be to you?” …(His voice has dropped considerably and he now starts to sound somewhat resigned and depressed) 

Why we have been consigned to go through all this adversity with them, is beyond me…

Why don’t we just simply give them what it is that they imagine they want? …  Then things would – very rapidly – come to a head down here …..And then all of us who have found it necessary to become involved here will be done with this… At last!… (He looks up from the desk, and stares out into the audience, and just before slamming down the phone, shouts) Finally! (Fade to black)…

From ‘Field-notes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

 

NOTE: Unlike other subjects I’ve taken a profound interest in over the last 40 years or so, and that have been fairly straightforward (although they’ve all usually presented me with at least some degree of difficulty) the subject area of what I like to refer to as ‘Feelings and Emotions’, has been by far the trickiest …

Nonetheless, I would maintain that this topic underpinned everything that Eugene Halliday both spoke of, or wrote about – certainly as far as this blog is concerned.

I have found that focusing on the feeling tone of Eugene Haliday’s presentation of his material (and also of my reaction to it) to have been a particularly fruitful vantage point for me to perceive patterns in what it was that Eugene Halliday was mainly ‘on about’. This viewpoint also, of course, obviously informed me about the subject of ‘feelings and emotions’ itself  ….

But, if it seems -from what I have written in this post – that I believe this subject to have now become somehow ‘manageable’ for me, and that I’ve at last succeeded in presenting my results in a causal, linear manner – this is purely accidental… As grasping the essence of this subject – in the sense that it could be ‘nailed down’ – is, I believe, impossible … in principle..

 So understand then, that what I offer below (which I appreciate might be experienced by you as fragmented, or as ‘skipping about a bit’) is merely ‘the tip of the iceberg’ (well more like ‘a few snow-flakes’) …. But I have had to make a start here somewhere…

And as my interest, and my consequent investigations, into the subject of ‘feelings and emotions’ has – for a very long time now – constituted a significant part of my approach to both my view of the person of Eugene Halliday as a cultural phenomena, and that also informs my position vis-à-vis his researchable ‘output’, it might now be possible (after some thirteen previous postings of mine) for you to appreciate that a major focal point for me in the very early stages of this game here was, ”What was it that was happening to Eugene Halliday himself, while he was engaged in this Work of his?” … Together with the (far more selfish on my part) question, “If I come to understand this process of his, then will this understanding provide me with some sort of ‘map’ to help me with my journey?” … (As opposed to, ”What interesting stuff was he trotting out to entertain his audience with, that I can appropriate in order to trot it out myself at some future date to others; and so perhaps succeed in sounding as if I might know what’s going on here?”) …

 

My own technique for observing what it is that’s taking place in my ‘interior space’ does not make use of Eugene Halliday’s suggested mnemonics such as ‘Be Here Now’, or ‘The observer is not the observed’, as I find these phrases to be too awkward for my taste (they make me feel a bit like I’m pretending to be Christopher Lee in some film adaptation or other of a Dennis Wheatley, or Stephen King, novel).. However, as I like to believe that I understand – to some degree at least – the detailed exposition that Eugene Halliday gives regarding the use of this technique in his essay ‘Reflexive Self-Consciousness, I have, as a consequence, had no problem in formulating my own mnemonic(s) here – in my pursuit of this ability to be able to reflect (in part at least) upon my own ‘being-in-the-world-in-the-moment’, as it were…

These mnemonics of mine make a somewhat fluid use of the following related group of words – “What’s Happening Now?” … “Oh! What’s happening now.” … “Crumbs! What’s happening now.” …  “Good Heavens! What’s happening now?” ….”Crikey! What’s happening now!”… “Flipping Heck! What’s happening now?”… and so on, ‘up the scale,’ to the really difficult stuff (I’ll leave you to work out the remainder of this sequence for yourself – as my own personal set of preferred expletives might not be to your taste)…

The examination of my various emotional states then, becomes more difficult with the increasing intensity of these states, and, as a direct consequence, my attempts at ‘riding out the storm’ – when they do threaten to overwhelm me – becomes more and more desperate, until the task finally becomes impossible … Maybe someone else would claim that it’s different for them, and that they have found – in practicing this technique over the years – that all this has become somewhat easier … But telling me that wouldn’t really help me here …Would it? …  … And I wouldn’t believe them anyway…

To continue on here, I must make two things very clear. As far as I’m concerned:

1) For an emotional state to exist, there must either be someone who is experiencing it; or who has, in the past, experienced it.

2) Every emotional state is capable of being described in some form of ‘text’ (spoken; written; danced; painted; etc.) That is, there are no experienced emotional states that cannot either in-the-moment, or subsequently – potentially at least – be described, using some form of ‘text’…

And please take the trouble here to ponder for a moment on what it is that I might mean by the word ‘describe’; and so appreciate that a ‘description’ is not the same thing at all as an ‘explanation’.

An essential component of my belief system is that emotional awareness is something we all possess: a commonality that presents us with the potential to offer support to one-another, because we can appreciate – if not from our own experiences, then at least by using our imagination – what it is that might be ‘going on’ with someone else, when their life ‘takes a turn’, either for the better, or for the worse…

It’s from my observation of these emotional states in others, and an inbuilt realization that I can potentially experience these same emotional states in my own life – states of depression, anxiety, fear, anger, lust, shame, happiness, compassion, sympathy, obsession, love, etc. – that has allowed me to recognize that the overwhelming majority of us are indeed ‘all in the same boat down here’…

I don’t believe that this ability to recognize these states in others comes about merely as a consequence of some sort of cultural, or religious, ‘programming’… And thus, this natural ability then – both in my experiences of these states, and in my reflection on the experiences of them in others – I take to be an essential component of what it is that ‘I am’ … of what ‘we are’… It just ‘goes with the territory’ you might say, and forms an essential part of what it is that we all do – of what it is that makes us ‘human’….But I should also add here that this ‘inbuilt realization’, I claim here that we all possess, says nothing about any subsequent course of action which might take place as a consequence of these states… This, as I see it, would concern the ethical, or moral judgments of these states  – which is another matter entirely.

And further, when I reflect on those philosophical, theological, and cultural etc. interests that I have pursued throughout my life, I can see that – without this sharing – the contents of these various subjects would have been meaningless to me.

I believe that we are all the authors of the emotions that we experience; and that these emotional states are at the very root of these experiences… And so, if we can lay claim to anything in our lives that ‘belongs to us’, it is to these unique emotional experiences of ours, because they are – as nothing else in our lives are – ‘authentic’.

Without our emotional experiences, there would be no ground for empathy; or – via the intellect, and active imagination – any genuine ‘concern’ for the state of others. For even though you might never have shared someone else’s particular experience(s), you can still imagine what these experiences might ‘be like’, and thus, as a result, display compassion (even if you do not experience any actual degree of empathy)… A response on your part that I believe unfortunately however, may or may not be genuine – as, in my experience, this ‘compassion’ can easily be faked; whereas ‘empathy’ cannot…

This means then that I reject the idea that it is possible for some higher being to ‘just’ simply empathize with my condition, although I can allow that they might ‘just’ manifest compassion – but only in the same way that I might experience compassion when I, say, recognize the squelchy-crunchy sound of that snail’s shell I have just stepped on, on my way out to work, and that I had failed to notice  … (“Oh dear! …I am sorry…I do feel really bad about that.” … ‘Bad’, that is, for about the two seconds that it takes me to get into my car and move on … A response that I view as more of a socially programmed convention, than anything else)…

On the negative side here then, this ‘sharing of our emotional lives’ can often explain how it is possible for someone to gain power over – and consequently manipulate – others… For a quick mind can – particularly if it is one which intuits that if it intimates an understanding of another being’s emotional state, then it can gain a great deal of real power in any future relationship here … On the positive side, there might perhaps be some ‘genuine understanding’ here, but this is regrettably placed in the service of a willfully-seeking desire to control the resulting relationship, and thus of exploiting the other’s vulnerability, as it were…

Even so, whatever any particular person’s social station in life happens to be, we are – all of us, at least in principle – capable of appreciating this life we have ‘together’…. Rich man; poor man; beggar man; thief, are all capable of experiencing a performance at the theater; a movie; a music recital; a joke, etc. in very similar ways… If only for the fact that, if they couldn’t, then these events could not be promoted in the way that they are, or to the extent that they are …

As far as I’m concerned here, it is this essential fact about you – and only this – that enables you to claim that you share in the humanity of others, whatever your material, social, or intellectual etc. status, or position, happens to be. And so, to be ‘emotional’ then, is what I see that makes us all quintessentially human… But – and here’s the ‘Million Dollar Question’ – “Just what are these ‘emotions’?“

That they are seen as an ‘out-pouring’, or ‘out-moving’, of ‘feeling’ (or whatever) … is etymologically obvious … But there is all the difference in the world between ‘motion’ as ‘loco-motion’ (a movement out from your ‘feeling center’ and ‘into your body’, as it were) and a ‘motion’ that constitutes some modification or alteration of your state (from one emotional state to another)… Indeed, Aristotle had already worked that out ‘way back when’… (If you’d like to take a ‘time out’ here to do some research in this area by the way, that’s OK… Try his ‘Nicomachean Ethics’) … And the position in a belief that we are ‘moved’ or ‘propelled’ by our emotions – that is, in this simple ‘outpouring’ idea – I see largely as supportive of a mechanical, or materialistic, and thus largely deterministic, view… However, the ‘change of state’ view of emotions is, for me, a far more fruitful, interesting, and contemporary psychological viewpoint, leading me to a (version of) phenomenology that is not ‘merely mechanical’, and that, indeed, informs my own ideas on ‘freedom of choice’…. But I appreciate that, for the moment at least, this position of mine would take some justifying on my part ……

We might put this question re, “What are emotions?” another way. And that is, “When we are doing something (when we make music; draw a picture; act; talk to one another; attempt to acquire a new skill; study for an academic qualification; engage in sexual activity; etc.), what happens to us?” … Is it somehow that we ‘become’ something, by ‘identifying with’ the emotion? … And so our answer here then would seem to be, that to express our emotions is to somehow ‘give in’ to them…

Or is it that we overcome them, and so sublimate them, in order to produce something ‘from them’?

And further, if we are to view ‘what happens’ to us as having prominently to do with our ‘emotions’, then do we have these emotions – that is, are they mine – or is it rather the case that no matter how deeply they are ‘felt’, we are nonetheless firmly in the grip of them – and thus that these emotions possess us; that they ‘come in’ to us, and so inhabit us; and that we, rather, become ‘theirs’…

This latter view, by the way, would be right at home from the dawn of recorded history up until at least the Enlightenment. During which time you – as a person – would have been either home to the ‘gods’ (or ‘God’), or had been invaded by ‘demons’ (with the unfortunate social consequences that go along with this particular ‘world-view’)…. And, in this scenario then, our question re ‘emotions’ would, during that period of history at least, have been, “What does this god/demon want here with me?” and not, “What do I want here?”

NOTE: If you’re having trouble getting to grips with this idea, try reflecting on one of your dream states (the particular dream of yours that you chose here is of no importance)… Do you experience this dream state of yours as ‘being somewhere’? .. Are you – as it were – ‘still you’, but now you’re an inhabitant in this ‘dream-place’, no matter how bizarre? …That is, you experience yourself as being in a definite ‘geographical location’ (on a ship; up a mountain; in a desert) – …And do you ‘meet others here’ …. Well, this sense that you are ‘somewhere’, is what I’m trying to describe here, when I say that your emotional states ‘take you to a definite somewhere’ … All this is, of course, complicated by the fact that  the ‘quality’ of this state (happy; sad; lust; fear; etc.) very often also makes use of a ‘location’ metaphor’ (‘Fields of delight’; rivers of ecstasy; ‘clouds of depression’;  etc.)…  …

… I do hope the above note hasn’t confused you even further …. ….. Anyway….. ‘Moving quickly on’ …

We often find that we (re)act ‘in the moment’ also, because responding from our emotional states can so easily be immediate – just because it is these states that fundamentally constitute our moment-to-moment awareness…. From this perspective then, I believe that they are also the connection between my instinctive animal nature and my primary will; and that they also provide the raw material for the exercise of my ability to reflect cognitively on ‘what the hell is going on here’. … (I am making use of one of Eugene Halliday’s meanings for ‘Will’ here, “…(T)he Will should be used only for pre-initiation … Will is unconditioned.”)… unfortunately this presents me with being required to perform something of a balancing act, in that I must (almost but not quite) ‘identify’ with the emotion in question, in order to ‘view’ it. And this situation could, very easily, simply overwhelm me…

For me to adequately reflect on these matters, I found that I needed the concept of the ‘unconscious’ to explain to me why these emotions ‘get the better of me’; together with the concept of ‘consciousness’ to explain how I might enter into a dialogue with these emotions and so, subsequently, formulate them – in order to arrive at some measure of understanding here – and to consequently, perhaps, allow me some degree of control over them, and so of my ‘being’…. Because it is only through these emotions that I believe I can gain any understanding of what the world is ‘about’; that gives the world any ‘meaning’; and that makes any relationship to it possible…. Even though there is always an ever-present element of danger involved (precipitation into rage, or sublime delight, or even into ‘mental illnesses’ – such as depression, or paranoia, for instance).

But let me add here that I have no idea if there is really any such a thing as the ‘conscious’ or the ‘unconscious’…. I merely make use of these concepts (and concepts like them) to ‘move me along’ on my journey…. And when it might happen, perhaps after decades, that they no longer do so, I will have no problem in discarding them … with perhaps some measure of gratitude, but also with absolutely no regrets …

So then, cultivating techniques in order to dis-engage from the world by ‘controlling’ my emotional flow, I view as attempts to inhibit the possibility of me discovering who I am, and even more alarming, of ‘plastering over’ myself with (yet another) layer of delusion, in an attempt to present myself to another – and so then delude both of us – into believing that this marionette that I have manufactured and that you see here is, “‘The way that I really am’… Honest-to-God!”…. A ‘construct’ that consists almost entirely of those characteristics that I would like to see reflected in your perception of me, making my motive here then, narcissistic idolatry … as it is a ‘construct’ that requires I continually remember the components of its image, so that I might endlessly re-constitute it, in order to continually re-present it to the world…. An unwholesome form of ‘worship’ then… (A word that Eugene Halliday defined very nicely as ‘continual remembrance’)… So … Real problems with this for me I’m afraid…

The metaphor I use to describe the attempt at deliberately inhibiting and controlling my emotional flow is that of siting behind the steering wheel of a car, with the engine in top gear and the feet on both the accelerator and brake at the same time… There is an appearance of being motionless – in that there is no forward movement – but there is now in imminent danger of the whole thing shaking apart, or even blowing up.. A  situation of – as I like to say, “Going nowhere…Fast!”… And which is really quite dangerous…

The contents of this present post have their root in my interpretation of a number of concepts (including a significant number of Eugene Halliday’s), and constitute my observations of both myself and my objective world, when viewed from the perspective gained by me from contemplating (what I take to constitute the content of) these various concepts.

The pieces in red below consists of an edited selection from my notebooks (from the late 1970’s to date) that contain some of my thoughts on Eugene Halliday’s Work, and which are, I believe, of some relevance here.

Notes towards Working with Eugene Halliday’s concept of  a ‘System’ as,  ‘A savior for a time’.

 I have found that this myth/metaphor of ‘the journey’ seems to apply very nicely to the way in which I experience what the hell it is that I’m doing with all this stuff… And that the stages of this journey of mine (and also of those other beings that I have met on the way) form the various chapters of this personal myth of mine. 

And so I have come to realize that it is important for me to record my own ‘as-lived’ account of all this as honestly as I can then…. Because I have learned, through experience, that it is not enough for me to simply seek to acquire more knowledge, or information, of something or other here…. In practice, for this material to be of any real value to me, I must somehow actively locate it – and then fix it – in the framework of my own lived experience; in my own personal time and space, as it were… And the extent to which I have deluded myself in my efforts here can be measured by the degree to which I am able to accurately recall my authentic past (as opposed to a version of that past which I would have ‘preferred’ – and which constitutes the ‘edited’ version of it that I always recount to others)… And as any account of this ‘past’ of mine that I seek to iluminate is, primarily, a linguistic account; then this is yet another crucial reason for the acquisition of an ‘active language’ 

But it is imperative here that I bear in mind, this myth of mine – this ‘journey’ I’m attempting to describe – is not really a ‘journey’ at all… My use of those metaphors – such as ‘journey’; ‘distance’; obstacles; ‘being ‘lost”; etc. etc. – are merely extremely useful ways of assisting me in my attempts at conceptualizing, evaluating, and ‘explaining’ , to both myself, and occasionally  to others, in language – a process taking place that is ‘uniquely itself’… and is not ‘like’ anything else at all really.

A ‘myth’, for me, is a form of story-telling that – to function as it is supposed to function in the individual – must in some real way, be about that individual…. Myths then, are definitely not risqué stories about the various goings-on of ‘the gods’ or other fictional characters, that various ‘self-appointed authorities’ subsequently ‘interpret’ using the latest, fashionable, ‘New-Age’ techniques …. As in: “That’s really a ‘Hero-figure-masculine-phallic-castration-incest’ myth in contemporary guise –  and not just simply a tale involving a beaver, a bath of Mazola oil, and a stealth bomber.”; or, “That story fragment ‘really’ forms part an ‘Earth-Mother’ saga  – although the uninitiated might think that it’s simple about a bit of lark which took place just inside a storage facility on the outskirts of Maidenhead.” … etc. etc. [yawn, yawn] ……. Would it were all really that easy… But then again, we all have to make a living I suppose…

I experience this journey as one in which I am, more often than not, traversing a completely unpredictable terrain – although I do get the occasional ‘coasting’ period (But I suspect this is merely to lull me into a sense of false security).. It might then, be easy going for part of the way; there might be mountains to climb; rivers to cross; sand-dunes to clamber over; waterlogged areas to wade through; etc. etc… And, as a result, I have become less and less concerned with being too particular about what it is that I am prepared to use ‘in the moment’ that will, I believe, move me forward here… Although I find that I must be totally committed to whatever it is that I am making use of at any one particular time  … Even though I might find that I – quite suddenly – will have to completely abandon it…

Volunteers who fondly imagine that they would like to become, or who indeed insist that they in fact are, ‘Fellow Travelers’ on this journey of mine, are another thing entirely…  I like to believe that I’m very reliable when I ‘cut a deal’ with others here, and I really do strive to be as clear as possible as to what I believe the outcomes can reasonably be expected to be – at least from my end… But my actual experiences here (and perhaps it is simply because I’ve never been able to clarify my own position in all this well enough to others) has taught me that it is far more usually the case that the majority of these others – usually because they have completely misunderstood what it is that ‘I’m about’ – will end up inevitably lowering the goalpost, or moving the starting line, or unilaterally changing the rules.…

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I have had to learn the hard way (and I have to confess that I still haven’t really learnt my lesson – although my wife has been attempting to advise me about this penchant of mine for decades) that it is extremely dangerous to cut deal with ‘devils’ – however minor; and however reasonable their subsequent defense of their own behavior might seem to be… 

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Important note to myself: This is a serious game …There is no rehearsal… This is IT… I have but one ‘go’ at it, and that’s all… There is no ‘return match’ .. no ‘reincarnation’ … What I do, ‘here and now’, constitutes – in the end – all that I am ever going to do with this life of mine… And when my death inevitably arrives, I believe there will then be a moment when it will clearly be seen by me that there were absolutely no excuses at all for any of the choices that I made in my life, or for any of my behavior here … Not that believing this really helps me all that much now…

This then is the scenario in which I need my ‘system’ to function. This is my ‘real world’; the one that I experience, and that I must deal with … And so clearly, my approach here must – to some extent at the very  least – be ‘fluid’ … As Eugene Halliday has it, only ever , ‘A Savior … for a time’.

In order for me to at least believe that I know what I’m doing, from moment to moment, with my ‘System’, I have had to take a closer look at a group of these related words that I see as clustering around the word ‘theory’. A word that often seems to be applied to – what might be more accurately described as – a ‘speculation’; or a ‘notion’; or a ‘model’… Anyway, here’s my ‘take’ on these words.

 I use ‘theory’ to refer to those ideas and concepts that I relate together to form principles, which I then use to produce reasonably systematic statements about either a particular subject of interest to me, or of an experience of mine, and that serves to illuminate these somewhat …

 A ‘notion’ is like a ‘hunch’ for me…. I might intuit that there will be some connection between two experiences or ideas, but this ‘maintaining the possibility here’ is not the same as producing a theory … Although these ‘notions’ may be later incorporated into some theory or other of mine – if the end result that is arrived at as a consequence of applying these ‘notions’ coincides with the same basic principles as the theory in question, that is…

But until then, I would rather call what I am doing here ‘speculation’. And this is a situation that will remain in this state until the principles I maintain are present here can be involved in some form of praxis of mine, or can at least be examined empirically, or concretely, by me… I should also add that my ‘notions’ usually take the form of metaphors – as these usually function quite well in getting me a little deeper into a particular subject.

Here’s an example: I like to think of my various emotions as the different colored inks that are contained in something like a set of children’s felt-tipped drawing pens; then my brain is the pen itself (the physical thing); and my mind is the hand that produces those ‘texts’ (acting with ‘intentionality’). These texts can, subsequently, be presented to my consciousness as a simple awareness, all the way up to a complex mentation… This ‘notion/metaphor’ ‘doesn’t really work’ if I think about it deeply at all – but it does serve to get me ‘into the right area’, and from this it is now possible that I might come up with something really useful…. So (obviously) although it’s very scrappy, and has ‘loads of holes’ in it, none the less I can Work with it – always provided I bear in mind that I mustn’t ‘fall for it’ (identify with it) that is…

I use ‘model’, when I believe I’m someway towards constructing a theory. My model partially ‘represents’, and uses those systematic statements that I’m constructing to describe various relationships that I’m perceiving. But my ‘model’ is always incomplete by its very nature… If  I were to believe that my model had somehow become complete, then it would no longer be a model – as it would now be identical with ‘the thing itself’, and so would be indistinguishable from it – which is impossible … (By the way, the statements by me that, “I completely understand,” something – is, I believe, also impossible)…

A ‘model’ then, helps me to construct a theory, which will then tell me not only what ‘parts’ of my model are incomplete, but also the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of those parts I’ve worked on, and possibly how they inter-relate. … I then use Eugene Halliday’s concept of a ‘system’ to link various theories together … Before finally Working on them – by  attempting to complete them still further; and, more importantly, adapting them into some form of praxis.

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Where do these ‘models’ of mine (for what it is that we essentially are) come from? … I have to accept that they are formed in the main by the Zeitgeist, or ‘Aionic forces’ …The seventeenth century emphasized mechanics (Newton and Descartes), which gave rise in the nineteenth century to, for example, the view that the best way to look at the world was based on forces, fields, energy, and resistance. This model was behind the ideas of pioneers such as Freud – who used this paradigm as the scientific basis for his theory of regression (which was appropriated by Eugene Halliday, in my view, to formulate the practical basis of what he referred to as, ‘engram work’), and Henri Berson, with his conscious field; his ‘élan vital’…

But this was not the only model that was about then, by any means… That branch of philosophy known as Phenomenology, coming out of German Idealism, and that gave rise to Romanticism, and Existentialism would also produce its own (quite different) vision..

I believe that we are now moving into an era where ‘what we are’ can be modeled more completely by incorporating metaphors based upon the ‘computer model’ – with its sub-routines; feedback loops; virtual realities; ability to provide relatively simple graphic representations of complex mathematical ideas etc. etc. etc..”

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The basic problem seems to me to have always revolved around dualism and idealism. On the one hand, the world is material in nature, and if there is any mystery here then it simply a consequence of our ignorance, and that is all. But then this Zeitgeist dictates that we accept certain types of evidence over other types – with the notably recent paradigm (in the West at least) being that of the causal nature of events.

 However, it is a matter of historical record that our epistemologies do evolve. But this evolution does not solve the problem that – in any given era – we still place more reliance on certain types of evidence than upon other types.

 If these models really succeed in reflecting current, contemporary, human values, then (as a direct consequence of this success) these models are difficult to shine any light upon, because they clearly do just seem to be, ‘the way it really is’.

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As the ideas that I work with iterate and bifurcate, I find I am having to deal with more and more diverse subjects.  Thus, questions concerning the nature of ‘consciousness’, and the necessity for a ‘system’ etc., all seem to arise quite naturally from my initial investigation into – what I fondly imagined were – ‘just’ my emotions… 

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 A ‘system’ must be formulated (or re-formulated) by me, to be of any real use to me…That is, I cannot just ‘take on’ someone else’s system…

In order for the involution/evolution of this system of mine to progress, I must actively involve the primary components of my perception, (that is, input received by me via my ‘five senses’); my experience of degrees of feeling; and those aesthetic evaluations which constitute my ‘recognition’ of my emotional states…. However i still view this system of mine as being – by and large – a construct of my mentational processes…

A fancy term for this system of mine then, might be to call it a ‘Cognitive Structure’, because this label would at least highlight the fact that it is, primarily, a system of representations in language, and is therefore essentially one that I can ‘play about with’ – with a view to transforming the elements contained within it… Hence the crucial importance here then, of developing my own ‘active language’.

These systems of mine then, I view as being products of my mind… Unlike, say, the ‘system’ of control that seems to be in place to preside over the regulation of organs such as my kidneys, for example… The smooth running of which must, as a consequence then, be continually tweaked by my brain ‘alone’. As my ‘conscious mind’ is apparently not required here. ..And so ‘I don’t ever actually ‘know’ that ‘I’m’ doing it!’ … This is fine by me by the way, as I’d probably screw the whole thing up if I did try to interfere here and attempt to become involved in ‘managing’ these essential bodily functions of mine… Because, let’s face it, I am so very easily distracted, and thus any interference by ‘the real me’ here would inevitably prove to be fatal … 

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As to ‘consciousness’ itself. It’s not something that I’m really all that interested in. That is to say, its not of any real pressing importance to me what consciousness is. I happen to believe that it is phenomenologically and ontologically unique. And thus, all attempts to explain it as being ‘like’ a ‘something else’ (as something that we all ‘understand better’) are doomed from the outset. … Because I have never been able to think of anything else that consciousness is remotely similar to … 

It is interesting for me to speculate, that the position taken by the contemporary philosopher Daniel Dennett re ‘consciousness’ may have arisen simple because of the temptation on his part to deny – what I claim is – consciousness’s uniqueness… And so then, for him – because consciousness isn’t ‘like something else’ (and so cannot then in principle, be ‘explained’) – ‘consciousness’ therefore, ‘doesn’t exist’…

In my view, the position, in part at least, that Dennett takes up regarding a view of ‘consciousness’ – which is predicated on what he refers to as, ‘The Multiple-Drafts Model’ – makes use of precisely the same sort of argument… That is – that consciousness isn’t like ‘this‘; it’s like ‘that‘..

And although I am in full agreement with Dennett’s demolishing of those models of consciousness that have been presented to us in the past and that he disagrees with – because he does prove, to my satisfaction at least, that these accounts all invariably do proceed by (and so seek to find their justification in) this analogy – I see his book  (‘Consiousness Explained’ ) as rather, an extremely complex and well argued example of, what Eugene Halliday both talks of and writes about regarding, ‘(T)he limit(s) of the application of term(s)’… The ‘term’ (in Dennett’s  exploration if it) being ‘Consciousness’.

 

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

I believe that Eugene Halliday’s many talks can be viewed from the point of view of, what I might call here, ‘The Emotional Life’… And, if you would like to ‘have a go’ at interacting with his material yourself from this perspective then, I would suggest that, instead of simply attempting to absorb information (definitions and ideas), you try to observe what it is that is happening in you while you listen to one of his talks; or even better, what it is that you believe is happening to Eugene Halliday while he is speaking… You might be pleasantly (or even unpleasantly) surprised….

You might now also try reading the collection of short essays written by Eugene Halliday, that was first published under the title of ‘Essays On God’ (the work of his friend, David Mahlowe). I cannot give you any information as to whether or not there was any editing of this material by David – except where it concerns the last four parts of this publication – their collective title being ‘God Is Not Dead’. These were originally printed in the parish magazine of ‘St Michael and All Angels Church’ (located in Manchester, UK) between March and June of 1980, and are – as far as I am able to tell – ‘as written’ by Eugene Halliday himself..

This collection of essays is available for viewing – and also for free downloading as pdf files – from Josh Hennessy’s excellent site, which is located a mere key-click away  … …   here

 Friendship is born at the moment one person says to another, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”

C. S. Lewis

To be continued….

Bob Hardy

May 30 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: I was very busy doing other stuff during most of April, so, instead of trying to rush things, I thought it best if I posted the much shorter than usual piece below …

 

I have no doubt that Eugene Halliday was first and foremost a Christian, and consequently, that the majority of the subjects he wrote about were from this perspective.

From 1969 until 1986 (the year before his death) approximately 200 of his short essays – consisting of around 3,000 words each (and thus totaling well over half-a–million words) first saw the light of day in the pages of the monthly parish magazine of  ‘St Michaels and All Angels Church’, located in the North West of England – in what was at that time, ‘Manchester 23’.

Here is a complete (dated) list of these essays, prepared recently by Joan and Ron Ford Eugene Halliday for St Michael’s (1969-1986)

It might also be worth noting here that, earlier on in the 1950’s, Eugene Halliday also had a number of his essays published in two other local church magazines,  ‘The Cavendish Magazine’, and ‘The Healing Quarterly.’

I believe that one of Eugene Halliday’s major concerns was what I might call, the ‘spiritual dilemma’ of contemporary Western European man. And with this in mind I would like to suggest that you take the time to read Eugene Halliday’s ‘The Conquest of Anxiety’… This is available as a freely downloadable pdf file from Josh Henessy’s excellent site. Just go to the ‘Written Work’ section accessible via the Menu Bar located along the top of his site.

Josh’s Eugene Halliday transcriptions site  

Eugene Halliday devised his own unique exercise – one that I took an active part in over a number of years, between the late 1970’s and early 1980’s – and that I would claim was based on a decidedly European symbolism.

This is my own (somewhat sketchy for the time being) description of this exercise…  ‘My own’, because I’ve never heard, or seen, it described like this by anyone else. Indeed some of the descriptions I’ve heard bandied about by others who claim to have ‘been on this exercise’ themselves, makes me doubt whether we were attempting to do the same thing.

I also remember that the number of people who could work at any one time with this exercise was thirteen, but that never – at least during the time that I attended – was there any more than about eight people actively involved.

The participants, essentially, invoked a (variety of) emotional states, using their ‘active imagination’ (Eugene Halliday referred to this use of active imagination as ‘letting’).These emotional states were dependent upon the nature of the particular exercise in question. This was first decided upon, before being subsequently more precisely formulated, and finally pronounced aloud verbally, by the group. Individual members of the group then assumed particular aspects of this formulation by attempting to actively participate in it dynamically .

Thus, this exercise was not about ‘emptying the self’ if you will, but rather more about ‘filling the self’… This seemed to me to be a technique that was completely beyond the ability of many of those who were willing to take part. In my opinion, the majority of those present seemed unable to come to grips with the essential technique of ‘letting go’ – and as a result there was usually a great deal of ‘active conjecturing’ taking place, as opposed to  ‘active imagination’… Regrettably, the success of the exercise was dependant on the fact that no-one taking part was ‘faking it’.

For me the over-riding experience was similar to listening to someone playing from a written piece of music that – although the person playing it may have indeed written themselves in the (recent) past – claimed was being improvised ‘on the spur of the moment’. Although I would add, in their defense, that those taking part did appear to have convinced themselves – and so in fact believed  – that they were indeed improvising..

This exercise was, in my view, originally designed by Eugene Halliday to allow those taking part to experience a range of their own emotional states in a controlled scenario through the technique of improvising, using active imagination; while at the same time allowing them to simultaneously observe the range of emotional states emanating from those others taking part… The rough idea being to resolve this situation ‘in the moment’, and subsequently to – what I would describe as – ‘distill the essence of it’…

However,  although the majority of the various attempts at these exercises that I took part in over the years I would say were failures, they did provide me with yet another excellent version of – what Eugene Halliday referred to (and wrote about) –  ‘The Tacit Conspiracy’…(Also available on Josh Hennessy’s site, if you’re interested)

I have included a brief description of this exercise here, because I maintain that it’s easy to see ‘The Conquest of Anxiety’ is intimately connected with it – if you’re sufficiently ‘along the way’ here, that is… View this as a ‘little test’ from me then … If you like …

… Back to my birthday party…

 

To be continued…

Bob Hardy

30th April  2013

 

One interesting aspect of observing changes in my experiences of any particular ‘state of being’, is the manner in which my cognitive behavior is able to modify these states in subtle ways that can slip right past me….

For instance, I have recently realized that if I’m in a state of ignorance about something (and I would also go so far as to claim that this state of ignorance also contributed to my physical state – that is, to my present material orientation towards my objective reality in some fundamental way)… and I realize that I am in this state of ignorance; then although I might now still actually know nothing more about the subject in question, I no longer experience this state of ignorance in the same way that I experienced it before I realized that I was ignorant  …. ….. And even though I still don’t know any more about the subject in question (this absence of understanding here being due to this ignorance of mine)…. I also experience this subject  in a different way   … Which I think is really, really, weird.

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

The illusion that having mental limitations places us under…
is one of having no mental limitations. 

NOTE: I use the word ‘idea’ to refer to that cognitive component of a particular ‘form/function’ I’m Working with…. That is, when I’m just ’having a think’ about it.

I use the word ‘concept’ to refer to that cognitive component of the ‘form/function’ of an experiential situation I have embarked upon. That is, something I’m actually doing (or I’ve decided I’m going to do) and that might contain any number of related ideas.

So, I’m liable to say things like: “But it’s only a bit of an idea at the moment,” or; “I really believed I had a great concept going there, but I just couldn’t seem to get it to work.”

… And I’ll sometimes use ‘idea’ and ‘concept’ in the same sentence.

 

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The main purpose of this blog is to provide an account of my interaction with a number of Eugene Halliday’s ideas that are contained in the many audio and text files – freely available for you to download here from the Eugene Halliday archive

To help you with your own investigations into this material, I would suggest that you visit Josh Hennesey’s excellent site here. This contains an ever-increasing number of transcripts of Eugene Halliday’s audio and text files, and, more importantly, all these files are ‘searchable’… Simply click on the word SEARCH – located in the Menu bar at the top of each page of Josh’s site – and then type in the word or phrase that you’re looking for in the space provided…[Typing in the word ‘feeling’, for instance, will – at the present time – provide you with about 67 detailed examples of Eugene Halliday’s use of this word].

Anyway … back to the topic in hand…

The subject of ‘feeling’ is, for me, an extremely complex one. Not least of all because of the common usage that many of the words I involve here signify to others.

Fortunately, the idea of Eugene Halliday’s that, ‘If you change the form [of something] you change the function’ – which I first came across in the mid-late 1970’s – became of real assistance to me in any Work that I was attempting to engage in here … And I began to take as much care as I could in constructing the particular pattern of words I would use to Work on embodying any ideas that I believed were really important to me where it concerned this subject of ‘feeling’ …

This was far trickier to pull-off than I first imagined, not because the ideas that began to form in me were that hard to accept, but because – of all the subjects I had ever taken an interest in Working with – this has been the one were the vocabulary involved has been the most troublesome…

My attempts at discussing the ideas of others here only tended to irritate the hell out of most of them. Because I would keep interrupting them, and insisting that they told me what it was that they ‘meant’ when they used certain words – as I realized that I didn’t really understand what they were talking about (and more importantly, I had an overwhelming suspicion that they didn’t either)…

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NOTE:  What is written below has come about as a consequence of investigations into my own integument, and my subsequent observations of the behavior of others.  … So, while I can tell you that this perspective ‘works for me’, I cannot of course say anything about it ‘working for you’…

And – once again – if you are going to contact me about these ideas, please do not simply tell me what your opinion is here.

… What I am interested in reading about are accounts of your own approach to this subject of feeling. Particularly if it differs significantly from mine, and also, provided that you supply a (sketchy will do) first-hand account of the subsequent experiential consequences of this approach of yours…

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To continue … This attempt at discussions with others about this subject of feeling had a very interesting side affect. In that I came to realize that, while I could eventually come to ‘see’ an idea that I had been working on – and could even write a short essay on it if I had to – when it came to explaining this idea to others, the ‘pace’ at which I was able to resurrect it slowed down considerably, altering my natural speech patterns so much so that I would begin to stammer… But, even so, whatever these ‘side-affects’ of Working were for me, I now measured my progress with any particular group of ideas – be they Eugene Halliday’s, or whoever – by the words that I believed I had now clarified and, to some extent at least, could include in my ‘active language’ vocabulary.

I was not really able to appreciate what was going on here until I began to teach professionally in the mid 1990’s … With the result that I am now quite certain that ‘holding forth’ on any particular subject has absolutely nothing to do with, say, ‘getting in touch with’, or ‘being in’, the ‘field’…. A commonly held view as to what it was that Eugene Halliday was doing when he gave one of his talks, by those who fancy they are ‘in the know’ here… Although, apart from saying something to effect that he was, “In touch with the field,” there seemed to be an almost total lack of any other information here from the overwhelming majority of those who maintained that this was the case (other than to accompanying this statement with some variety or other of ‘knowing look’ – presumably intended to indicate that something unfathomable was going on here … Which, I would tend to agree, was – but on their part, and not Eugene Halliday’s)… Having said that, I am a big fan of ‘being inspired’ … a state that I believe Eugene Halliday certainly was in, from time to time …But I see that as a completely different process…

… Like I say, it’s complicated…

Anyway, as a consequence – after some 35 years or of Working on various ideas and concepts in an attempt to further my understanding of ‘feeling’, I have come to appreciate that many words are commonly substituted for each other here in some way (particularly in common speech) such as, for instance: ‘awareness’; ‘sentience’; ‘feeling’; ‘consciousness’; ‘perception’; ‘sensation’; ‘emotion’; ‘reaction’, etc. etc. But that, in a Working situation, if these words are separated out and considered individually, they are capable of supplying a great deal of clarity (at least to me) where it concerns the need for a basic understanding of (what I believe is an approach by Eugene Halliday to) the problem of ‘being’ itself… However, if I’m just having a chat with someone, I do find myself sliding into ‘common usage’ very easily, and this does tend to complicate matters somewhat …

This account of mine here is not meant to (necessarily) tell you ‘exactly where I’m at’ at the present time with ‘feeling’… (And I certainly hope you haven’t gained that impression from my previous posts with regards to my present position on ‘active language’), and so what I will attempt to do now is tell you what my ‘starting position’ was with respect to my understanding of ‘feeling’, back in the late 1970’s, and then attempt to move forward slowly from there if I can…

However, I’m reasonably sure already that I won’t be able to make it to the present day, because I can already see that some understanding, and sooner rather than later, of what I believe is another of Eugene Halliday’s most important concepts – and that’s  ‘Sentient Power’ – will be required here ….

But back to ‘feeling’ … I first became interested in the theoretical ideas of C G Jung’s Analytical (or Depth) Psychology sometime during the late 1960’s (when I was in my late 20’s), so much so that I had read his Collected Works by the time that I first went to Tan-Y-Garth in the mid-late 1970’s… Consequently, I was well used to viewing things from the perspective of many of the concepts contained in Jung’s typological and topographical schemes… These would include a view of the psyche that included the physical body; the two ‘attitudes’ – ‘introversion’ and ‘extrovertion’; and the four functions of ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ (rational), ‘sensation’ and ‘intuition’ (irrational)…and – although not so important here, at least for the moment – Jung’s concept of ‘The Archetypes’ …. [If you want to know more about all this in a general sense by the way, then I suggest that you get hold of a copy of ‘Lectures on Jung’s Typology’ by Marie-Louise von Franz and James Hillman; and ‘Complex/Archetype/Symbol by Jolande Jacobi.)

So I will just say a little here about feelings being ‘rational’ (because this view seems to trouble the most people) … and what that meant to me back in the late 1970’s ….. and – to a large extent – still does.

Essentially, the ‘feeling’ function is the evaluative function.

States of being – such as anger; happiness; sadness, frustration; etc – are not ‘feelings’, – they are ‘emotions’ … (‘feeling’ and ‘emotion’ are two different words, with two [obviously] different forms, and that therefore properly perform two different functions)…

Simply put, ‘emotions’ (in the only situation where I would maintain that they have any ‘meaning’ to an experiencing subject, and that is, where they arise in human beings) require the mediation of language (and thus cognition) to ‘come to be’…. So that your own personally experienced list of emotions are the labels (in the form of words) that you use in naming (and perhaps also describing – either vaguely, or in some considerable detail) these various feeling ‘states’ of yours that you have, to some degree at least, become aware of, or have experienced.  To make this a little clearer, I’m not saying that our animal chums cannot act nervously or be fearful etc. etc.; what I’m saying is they cannot do so in any ‘meaningful’ way; and that further, because animals are not reflexive, they are not capable in principle of doing any Work … …. But then I don’t happen to believe that the overwhelming majority of people can be bothered to do any either … 😀

Having experienced various emotional states, we can all, potentially at least, subsequently describe the content(s) of these states to each other. Including perhaps the reasons why we are in them (“I’m very angry with you because you ….etc.”)… and eventually even develop our own complex aesthetic here… Such that we can indicate in speech – sometimes to a remarkable degree – exactly how happy, or sad, or angry, etc. we are, and why… even poetically, in a way that is denied the warthog; albatross; haddock; dug-beetle; Antirrhinum; etc et al… Although I have to admit that there is nothing more cringe-provoking for me than reading someone’s attempts at presenting their various ‘thoughts’ on the human condition in a way that seeks to seduce us into believing that these are derived from the author’s authentic experiences, although I am not saying that these accounts couldn’t be genuine, …. (Clue: ‘authentic’ and ‘genuine’ are two different words)…

Most importantly here, for me, then – emotions require cognitive input, but feelings don’t…

The degree to which we are happy, or sad, or angry etc. (that is, the ‘how much’ of the particular emotion) constitutes the feeling content of these states… And, crucial here, is that you are always immediately aware of your degree of feeling, without the mediation of either any mental or physical content …

If you are devoid of language, and consumed with rage, you are only able to express this emotional state of yours through your physical body – by making noises, facial expressions, body movements etc. – as any mother who is nursing a very hungry small baby will be able to tell you from first-hand experience; and also that dog owner, whose left leg – for some unaccountable reason – has become the center of a great deal of amorous activity on the part of Woofter, the family cocker-spaniel …A very interesting phenomena this latter one, as it can be used to illustrate the emergence of emotional states from instinctive states, and on up into the articulation of these states in language, from the relatively simple, and non-reflexive way in the case of lower primates etc., to the bewildering complexity of human speech … But my major point here is that there is no possibility of either the baby, or Woofter, reflecting on these states that they find themselves in, at least in the sense that beings who have acquired language skills are potentially able to… To repeat then – expressing an emotion other than through the body  – that is, with the cognitive function – requires ‘language’, or if you prefer, the production of texts, to do so…

Having once acquired language skills, it should be relatively easy for you to now appreciate why I maintain that you would never find yourself saying something like, “You know, I judged myself to be (or thought I was) in a state of profound melancholy last night, but actually I was ecstatically happy! … Silly me!” Or, “I was very, very, angry with you, but actually I found out later on that I wasn’t … I was only mildly angry with you.” … (Although you could say something like, “You thought I was very angry before! … Well you were wrong! … Because this is me when I am very angry!!!”… [Sound of crockery being smashed])…

So, your pronouncements about your emotional state – that is, the words you use to describe, or justify, or condemn, etc. it, has nothing to do with the certainty of your immediate actual experience of the intensity (value) of it….

I am not saying here that you cannot inhibit your emotional state, and indeed this can be a consequence of many things – your morality for instance; or your ability to engage in various fancied ‘spiritual techniques’. But any pronouncements here are still structured components of your ‘thinking’ (rational, logical, ‘spiritual’, fashionable, or otherwise) and play no part in any awareness of it, in the sense that you do not need this self-definition of your emotional state before you become aware of the intensity (or quality) of it.

Feeling does not require the mediation of language… That is, it does not require a cognitive component in order to ‘be’. You are aware of your feeling state immediately, and you are never wrong as to its value. But ‘value’ here only means ‘amount’ (or, as I prefer, ‘degree’). And this degree is situated somewhere along the axis from total rejection to total acceptance… Many ‘followers’ of Eugene Halliday I have spoken with about this appear to me to confuse this ‘positioning of feeling’ with what they believe he meant by “Yes-ing” and “No-ing” (In case you hadn’t noticed, ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are two words by the way, and are thus components of your mentation, and not of your feeling) …

Animals clearly have ‘feelings’ (degree of response) but an Italian dog will not say, “Bellissimo!” to itself if you give it a chocolate biscuit, any more than a Rochdale Lurcher will say, “Ta very much Chuck!” in the same circumstance …. They will however ‘feel about’ the situation….  (But whether your pet slug, Ambrose, does, I’m not so sure….Although it can display reactive behavior)

And, as with any group of words used to elaborate upon a central concept (emotion) in order to, say, produce some kind of aesthetic, these concepts can easily become confused…. But please note that your ‘feeling states’ (or for that matter your ‘emotions’) are never, in themselves, confused, and they are thus rational – although emotions can become conflated if a particular situation results in you experiencing rapid swings from, say, ‘pleasure’ to ‘disgust’ during a relatively incrementally short period of time… I’ll leave it to you [and your relationship with Woofter] to come up with your own examples here.

This situation is further complicated when using common speech, as in sentences such as, “I felt really angry,” which implies that ‘anger’ is a ‘feeling state’…. It’s not… It’s an ‘emotional’ state…

So let me try now to explain how you might move forward here … Ask yourself the following question (and I’m not suggesting at all that your views here should be the same as mine)…., “Are my feelings rational or irrational?” … If you’ve thought about this at all, then you should be able to answer this question at some length without becoming hopelessly confused (and again, your approach here might be totally different from mine) … Now ask yourself, “Are my emotions rational or irrational?” and if your answer seems to be the same as your answer to the first question, then I hope you can see that you don’t in fact know the answer to either of these questions – because you do not understand that they are fundamentally different …

But recognize here also, that anyone can rattle on about a subject that they ‘know something about’, often at some length, from material that they have gleaned from others. And this can include, not only esoteric material, but material  (the subject matter of which would come under the general heading of ‘Psychology’) such as feelings and emotions. And this can often leave you believing that these people are, at the very least, knowledgeable here. But Working on those two questions I gave you above has very little to do with being smart, or trotting out something you’ve appropriated from someone else, or quoting the Bible etc…. and everything to do with your attempt to ‘know yourself’ – a pursuit which I have come to believe almost no one I have ever met attempts in their whole lives…. But then maybe I’ve always hung around with the wrong people … Capisce?….

Try to devise ways of attempting to perceive if those you engage in conversation with about these subjects speak from their own experiences (or ‘centers’) … If you decide that they don’t, then all you are going to get at very best is (yet more) information (which may or may not be useful)… But you will get no material which comes from them actually Working – as this material is qualitatively different … And if I can assure you of anything, it’s that, if you Work on yourself, at some point in all this it becomes relatively easily to spot when someone else is … How you handle your relationships when you can do so is, of course, your business… I will tell you though that dealing with those who imagine they are Working is very difficult  for me … but that I try to use this situation to do some Work myself … If that helps.

Cognitive effort, where it concerns Working then, is about developing concepts that mirror – if only for that part of the journey you are struggling with at the present time – your internal states… These attempts at description might not be as accurate as they could be, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are vaguer, or weaker… It simply means that, in this particular instance, you’ve missed the mark (clue there 🙂 ..)

 And finally, you can study as many religious, scientific, artistic, philosophical subjects as you like – but if your motive for doing so is anything other than ‘knowing yourself’, then –  as I see it – you’re (still) ‘going nowhere’ …

In closing, here’s an example from one of my notebooks of a methodology I make use of when attempting to remember stuff – and that’s humor… More often than not in the form of ‘blue’ jokes… This is because I find I can remember it easier [and so, I believe, could Woofter, if he possessed language] – so be warned … Here’s a relatively mild one anyway from one of my notebooks that nailed, very nicely for me, one of the uses of the word ‘feeling’ in common speech.. The word is used here to describe sense data…

You can try and create a version of this joke by using words such as ‘I had a sensation of’ in place of ‘felt like’ … I don’t think that being more accurate with the words used here works as well… But that only gives me some ideas about the inertial properties of common speech… But don’t let me stop you trying…

…. Give it a go and ‘See how you feel’…

Two Welsh women, Mrs Jones and Mrs Williams were having a heated argument about Mrs Jones’ husband.

Mrs Jones:  “Mrs Williams! … I’ve got a bone to pick with you! I hear in the village that you’ve been going round telling all the girls that my husband, David, has got a wart on his ‘John Thomas’!”

Mrs Williams: “Mrs Jones!! … I said no such thing!! … … I did not say that your husband David had a wart on his ‘John Thomas’.  …. ….. I said it felt like a wart! ”

From ‘NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS’
‘Random Dribbling from the Twilight World of the Undead’
by Bob Hardy
(A series of fragments from Bob Hardy’s notebooks – from the late-1970’s to date)

Woof!! Woof!!

To be continued ……

Bob Hardy

March 31st 2013

 

Intro:

Over the course of the last couple of months – and with the assistance of a number of comments and emails from various people – it has gradually dawned on me that visitors to this blog might not be … ‘getting’ … these various accounts of my interactions with Eugene Halliday’s material in quite the way that I had intended. … So then – in an attempt to clarify things here if I can – here are one or two points that you might like to bear in mind for the future… … As you ‘read on’ … So to speak…

Most notably:
a). I may have subsequently modified my understanding of a particular concept(s) of Eugene Halliday’s, that I initially took on board sometime during the 1970’s and ’80’s. Such that the account that I give here of my understanding ‘back then’, is nothing like my understanding of this particular concept(s) now.

b). That I might have found myself at some earlier date rejecting a particular concept of Eugene Halliday’s. But as a direct consequence of doing so, I immediately began working on developing my own ideas here… And although these ideas of mine may have been antithetical to Eugene Halliday’s – nonetheless they still owed their genesis directly to that (original) concept(s) of his….Indeed, I had already begun to appreciate ‘way back then’, that without this initial impetus from him, I might never have engaged with these concepts at all. … So whether I agreed with him or not, Eugene Halliday still did something for me here. An intention of his that I believe he elaborates upon at some length in his essay written during the 1940’s – ‘Defense of the Devil’ …(And before moving on, an interesting point that you might like to consider here is, “And what was it that other people did for Eugene Halliday …?”)

The primary purpose of this blog then is to describe these, and other processes of mine, by recounting – as best I can – how it was that I proceeded through some of the material contained in the Eugene Halliday Archive. This purpose also governs, in the main, the position I would prefer to take here regarding any discussion of Eugene Halliday’s ideas or concepts – either on the Forum, or in the Comments Section of this blog…

So, before moving on from the subject of ‘Words’, and onto ‘Feeling’ (as I fully intended to do at the end of last month), I have decided that it would be a good idea if I provided you with a couple of examples illustrating my present relationship to this whole ‘activate language’ thing… And although these examples could hardly be said to be exhaustive  – that is, I hope you don’t think that this is all I have to say on the subject – they might help to shed further light here…

Shortly… The problem I’m having at the moment with my attempts to clarify my position regarding ‘active language’ here, is centered around a lack of (let us call it) ‘differentiation’ in the use of (amongst others) the following particular terms: ‘meaning’; ‘definition’; and ‘understanding’….. (This would be a lack of differentiation on your part here by the way, and not on mine … Although having just written that, I do immediately see that it appears to make me out to be somewhat hubristic) …. To continue … ‘Meaning’; ‘definition’; and ‘understanding’ are – ipso facto – three completely different words, because they (obviously) each have three different, written, and spoken, forms …. And thus – at least according to my take on Eugene Halliday about this – they must therefore perform three different functions…. So … This being the case … I can now put my little problem here this way:-

If you take my use of the word ‘meaning’ to be, say, the same as your use of the word ‘definition’ …then ‘we two’ are going to be in all sorts of trouble where it concerns any attempt by us to communicate with each other here… Aren’t we?  … Such that we will probably just end up talking past each other … That is – I will fondly imagine that I’ve ‘said’ one thing, and you’ll maintain that I’ve ‘said’ something else….. ‘Non comprende’ in other words….

So, here below are a couple of examples centered around my particular ‘Work Experiences’ with the word ‘meaning’. And thus, as a consequence of these experiences, how this word ‘meaning’ functions (in part) for me now  …. Hopefully perhaps, after reading these examples then, you will understand a little more about what it is that I’ve been prattling on about in this blog – in part at least – up to now…

I am fine, by the way, that your experience with this word ‘meaning’ involved you in completely different experiences, as it surely must have … And indeed, I would be very interested to hear from you about these experiences of yours…. Hopefully though, you will not be overcome with the urge to send me your ‘ideas’ about what it is that you ‘think’ the word ‘meaning’ might possess… Because – as I might have mentioned before – I am not that interested in hearing about ‘just’ your ideas … I want to know how you arrived at these ideas experientially.. and how you subsequently ‘balanced’ yourself …

To repeat then, I would be absolutely delighted to hear from anyone out there in blog-land who has actually had any authentic experiences here….(Clue: ‘authentic’ experiences are not the same thing as ‘genuine’ experiences).

I have put together the pieces below – in part at least – from entries in the many and various notebooks that I have somehow managed to accumulate over the years – and I really do have lots of them, but that’s probably because I always start my entries in them by using my best handwriting for the first few pages – employing a brand new pen purchased solely for that purpose… Then – for some reason which I’ve never quite been able to fathom – I will scrawl stuff in the next few pages using a blobby biro, with the result that I’m only able to decipher half of this material at a later date… Finally, I will make a hurried note  (which I will recall at some later date as being crucial to my future development, but which, regrettably, I have now somehow completely forgotten) – somewhere in the final third of this notebook, with what appears to be an H500 (or even harder) pencil – the line of which is so faint that I cannot subsequently decipher anything of it at all, but which I cannot now erase without making a hole in the paper … … I then find myself – and sooner rather than later – impelled to buy myself another new notebook … Going on to repeat the above process … over, and over … and over, again….  ‘Nox profunda’, as they used to say ….

A¹: The Meaning of Objects.

Let me say right away that I like my choice of title for this section … It reminds me of a sort of ‘surrealist manifesto’ thing. … Rather like ‘The Exquisite Corpse’ ….

All of a sudden, as if a surgical hand of destiny had operated on a long-standing blindness with immediate and sensational results, I lift my gaze from my anonymous life to see the clear recognition of how I live. And I see that everything I’ve done, thought, or been, is a species of delusion or madness… I’m amazed by what I’ve managed not to see… I marvel at all that I was and that I now see I’m not.
                                                         The Book of Disquiet – Fernando Pessoa

Sometime during my mid-fifties – and as a consequence of what many might view as an incredible stroke of luck – I was given the opportunity of ‘retraining’  for the job market…For free …. (A situation that very nearly ‘did me in’ as it happened… And that, amongst other things, resulted in me becoming the apparent victim of a bizarre strain of what I can only describe as ‘lycanthropy’, for short periods … But that’s another story) …

Out of the blue, my line-manager at ‘The Wirral Metropolitan College’ (which was where I was working at that time as a part-time lecturer) offered to get the college to pay for my university fees, should I want to ‘bump up my qualifications’ and go for an MA… (“They must have had more money than sense,” as my sainted, maternal grandmother might have put it)…

Being the pig I am (and using the old Liverpool maxim ‘If they’re free, I’ll have two’), I embarked, simultaneously, upon not one, but two, three-year courses (Education with Manchester University, and Music at Liverpool University) eventually receiving two pieces of very nicely embossed paper, on which were printed my shiny new, impressive ‘qualifications’. These were immediately prominently featured in the first two pages of a fake-leather-bound folder that we were all required to clobber together during this period, and which laughingly constituted what ‘the powers that be’ liked to referred to as your ‘C.V.’.. And…as much of what was in there – up to that time at least – resembled nothing so much as a collection of antique Hoover guarantees … I will admit that… OK… I was rather taken with my shiny new qualifications…But only ‘in a mercenary way’, as Dame Edna might have put it….

Had they still been alive, my achievements here were something that my parents would have been proud of (in the way that all of us parents usually are). And it was this aspect of my newly acquired scholarly status that kept presenting itself to me, whenever I thought of my splendid achievements here … something like nostalgic regret …. In a nutshell, I had became conscious of the fact that, “My dad (and my mum) would have been proud of me.”

My father had worked in a precision engineering company, and such was the nature of his job that he was required to wear a suit, complete with collar and a tie, under a white laboratory coat – very similar to the one that the actor Peter Cushing used to don whist playing Dr Frankenstein in those old Hammer Horror movies…

Anyway, my dad had been dead for some fifteen years, and my mum had been dead for about six years when I received my  ‘presentation award ceremony letter’ from Liverpool University … I had no intention of actually going to be ‘presented’ because – as I have already said – I only wanted the official pieces of paper to stick in my CV.. But my wife, Jean, pointed out that, “It would be a nice thing to do, because your mum and dad would have wanted you to.” … So I compromised… and agreed to have my photograph taken…

I had very few of my mother and father’s belongings, but for some reason, I had kept my dad’s tie … The one that I remember he wore to work.. It was a blue plaid affair – made of a sort of wool material…. The sort of thing you could buy in any decent high-street tailors….

Anyway, I decided to wear my dad’s tie (around the collar of that brand-new white shirt I found that I had to buy) when I went along to the appropriate university department in order to pose for my official (rip-off) photograph – wearing the specially-hired (at the session) for-the-session standard mortar-board, complete with fake-fur-lined gown: standing in front of an impressive array of fake books, and holding a rolled-up piece of blank parchment complete with a fetching strip of silk (matching the above fake fur) which had been wound around it, and then tied with an impressive bow, and that was presumably intended to represent my new ‘degree’…. (There’s ‘one born every minute’ isn’t there?) …

When I think of ‘dad’s tie’ now – all this (and a great deal more) ‘comes up’ in me… It’s what it ‘means’ to me.

On the elaboration of my thoughts here regarding this extraordinarily interesting phenomena, see ‘B section’ below … After you’ve read  of course …

A²:  …But what does this particular concept really mean?

I’m now going to attempt here to ‘marry up’ – that is, as far as ‘my very own, personal, belongs-to-me, meaning’ is concerned – a concept of Eugene Halliday’s; something from the writings of Jacob Boehme; … and the Eskimos ..

NOTE TO THE READER HERE: I can read a very thick book from cover to cover, and get absolutely nothing from it. … And have in fact done so, on numerous occasions ….

My usual way of processing texts, is to read through them as quickly as I can and wait for part of it to ‘stand out’…. You can think of this process as something like waiting for a portion of the text that you are reading to become, spontaneously, ‘virtually highlighted’ – if it helps you..

This way of engaging with texts will often result in me being completely unable to tell the curious, casual enquirer what the particular book I have now just finished reading, was ‘about’  … But if, on the other hand, they ask me “What did I get from it?”, and a part of it had been ‘virtually highlighted’ – then I am able to give them my ‘take’ (on that part at least) without much effort … and often at great length… Which usually sees them backing off (particularly if they’ve read the book themselves) and muttering something like, “Mmmm, I would never have got that from it,” followed very quickly by, “Well! … Must be off !”

You must also understand here that I have no way of knowing beforehand, if and when this ‘virtual highlighting’ will manifest itself. But I can tell you that the possibility of its appearance is the only reason why it is that I engage with any text of any kind since I can remember – that is, even when I was a teenager… …  I might engage with a text I’m not drawn to if I’m asked to do so – as a favor by someone who is important to me for example – but if no ‘virtual highlighting’ appears, then I can find this to be an excruciatingly uncomfortable experience …..Weird…hey?…

Anyway, to continue on here…..

One of the problems I have with any authoritative religious text is – what I like to refer to as – ‘The Eskimo (and Various Other Peoples of the Frozen North) Conundrum’ … Basically this problem centers around the attempted transmission of any information that makes use of culturally-based customs, metaphors, or simpler ‘folk wisdom’ (parables and the like)… Such as those accounts that originate in areas where there is lots of sand; very little rain; the sun never stops shining; there are vineyards and olive groves; people slop about in sandals and loin-cloths; houses are made of stone; locusts are a problem because they eat those crops that the farmers have just spent most of the year cultivating; there’s often a scarcity of water, and they have a lot of problems over who owns ‘that well’ or ‘this oasis’; dead bodies will putrefy in a day or two; they submit themselves to any number of random, bizarre, dietary restrictions; some of the inhabitants have to cover themselves from head to foot in black, leaving holes only for the eyes; For real fun they like to get everyone together now an again and stone somebody to death – usually a woman, and usually for having sex without permission, (it’s almost always about sex) and because God told one of his ‘special earthly representatives’ that this was what He (notice that’s ‘He’ and not ‘She’ by the way) wanted them all to do; or that hundreds of millions of them are still, even today, condemned to suffer a pernicious form of slavery as ‘untouchables’, because of something they apparently did before they were born (which is a really neat trick to pull – if you can get people to swallow it that is… … “Please drink the Kool-Aid!”). But whose ‘sacred religion’ still has a very special place in the hearts of Westerners (usually with more money than sense – and particularly ‘celebrities’) because they are so very nice to cows… etc. etc.

Now… to folks who live in a place where, for a great deal of the time, everything is ‘white-on-white-in-white’; it’s mostly cloudy; there are often blizzards, or at least howling freezing winds for days on end; they only get to see the sun for five minutes a day for a significant percentage of the year; houses are made of snow, or reindeer hide; they stand for hours holding a spear, covered in animal fur, over tiny holes in the ice, waiting to catch some unwary seal (another mammal not frequently alluded to in those standard ‘authoritative texts’ either – at least as far as I’ve been able to discover); dead things hang about for millennia; they have no problem in chewing on hooves, scales, and drinking warm blood; they have never seen a grape or an olive (or a ‘farmer’ for that matter) in their lives; they have more than enough water; they keep company with walruses; a significant number of them wouldn’t be seen dead drinking wine – preferring instead to down shots of neat spirit; they like to Sauna together naked, then jump into freezing water, before downing a few of the aforementioned shots, and then spank each other with bundles of fresh branches … And they are ‘animists’ as well – That is, they believe that animals have spirits, and so they thank them, after killing them for food. etc. etc. (What would Irenaeus have made of that?)

Thus, talking about the Roman Empire; the Holy Land; having to build the pyramids; virgin births; ‘wise men from the East’; burning bushes that talk; The Angel of Death; facing South and bowing down five times a day; dying and being ‘resurrected’, or having your own planet to populate; traveling hundreds of miles overnight on a winged horse; telling them that when you die you get forty acres, a mule, and seventy-two virgins; etc. etc. will signify absolutely nothing …Nada …. Zilch …to this second group of human beings… And it is also questionable if any ‘well-meaning’ ‘peddler of the Good News’ here would be doing them a favor particularly, by letting them ‘in on the truth’, either…

(Scene: He is sitting on a pile of animal skins, dressed in traditional North American Inuit clothing, in the center of what appears to be an igloo. The entrance to which is somewhere off to stage-right, and through which we can occasionally hear the howling of the wind as a flurry of snow blows in. This is happening as the scene begins. The yellow, smokey, light, which is coming from a number of oil-filled lanterns situated around an area in the center of the stage fade-up from black-out ….. He shouts impatiently).

“Shut that door!”…

(He appears to be talking in an extremely animated manner to an unknown number of  people who are seated just outside of the area illuminated by the lamps)…..

“You mean … no more fun with those bundles of fresh branches then? …

Tell you what! … I think we’ll just ‘pass’ on this whole business of wearing hair-shirts; cutting the end of your baby boy’s weenie off; dressing the women from head to foot in black; throwing the headman’s wives alive onto his funeral pyre while they’re still alive; worrying about plagues of …(We hear the howling of the wind and see a flurry of snow again. He shouts, and immediately afterwards, he shakes his head, and quickly smooths his black long greasy hair back with his hand) …. Shut… that… door!”… 

(He continues)

…And then standing up to your waist in a river while you’re holding someone’s head under the water, to – what did you call it? …. ‘Babtize them?” .. Well if you tried that here you’d both be dead in two minutes …But then, I suppose, you’d go straight to – what did you call it – ‘Heaven’! (He roars with laughter)

…And what did that other guy say? … You sit out there under the stars for hours on end and .. How’s that again? – ‘Meditate’ …so that you eventually become …enlightened? (He looks extremely quizzical) ….What? ….. (He turns round ninety degrees or so, and points – appartly at one of the people beyond the light) And what did you two say was written in this this ‘Book of Mormon’ thing, about you’re not supposed to drink alcohol, or drink – what did you call it – caff…een? …(He pauses).. or (He frowns unbelievingly) … hot drinks !! ….

Look! … This has been all very entertaining… But it’s my turn to get the sauna ready for this evening’s fun… So I’m afraid you’ll all have to go ….(He stands up and makes a shoo-ing motion with his arms and hands. We hear movement and the shuffling of feet. The igloo door opens and we hear the whine of the wind and see a flurry of snow billowing in again) … Shut the door on your way out, would you please! …. And do watch out for polar bears… …. What are they?  … Well if one of them spots you, you’ll soon find out … …No…It doesn’t look anything like a ‘camel’ ……. Bye!” …. …. (He shouts) … Shut that door! ….

(He sits down and and continues to address someone beyond the circle of light) Would you get that lot? …Notice there were no women amongst them except for those two – what did they call themselves? …. ‘Jehova’s Witnesses’  … They were a right bundle of laughs, weren’t they? …..

Couldn’t make head nor tail of anything any of them were saying …. Mind you, one of the guys with the little cap on the back of his head said that he did quite like liver – but that he didn’t fancy eating it raw….(He looks puzzled for a moment) … So what does he do with it then? …Boil it? (He roars with laughter)…. …. And what’s a chicken?..

(He fiddles with the wick on one of the lanterns) … Seems like they’re all obsessed with rules to me …(Flurry of wind and swirling of snow. He shouts at the top of his voice) … Shut!… That!…Bloody! …. Door!!!…..

Well! … Better be off to get the fire going!…. Lots of steam and hot air … (He chuckles to himself again). But the useful kind … That’s what we need…..(He stands up,pulls his hood over his hair, and picks up his harpoon. The igloo door opens again and we hear the howling of the wind and see another flurry of snow. He shouts again) … Shut! … That! …(He continues in a quieter voice, talking half to himself)  Oh, forget it! …  I was going out anyway (He moves out of the circle of light, the sound of the wind rises, the flurries of snow becomes thicker and blow further into the igloo towards center stage, as the lanterns fade to black-out)….

From ‘Fieldnotes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

What’s going on here? …And far more importantly to me … What’s wrong with this picture? …It is questions such as these that have bothered me for far longer, and much more, than, “What happens to us when we die,” or, “Is there, or is there not, a ‘God'” ….

Earlier on in my life, the affect on me of all religious stories was, frankly, to confuse me …. I didn’t get them at all… Although I was interested…And I did go to Sunday School every Sunday, and sing in the church choir until I was about twelve, so it wasn’t like I was a heathen … But it was as if I was covered with a kind of ‘religious water-repellent’ and none of the stories touched me… I could remember information without any trouble (the story of Christ’s life, for instance) but it didn’t mean anything to me … And I was also worried because that whole, ‘He died for our sins’ thing was incomprehensible to me – I just couldn’t find any point of entry… I didn’t feel as if I was ‘covered in sin’ or that I needed ‘saving’ particularly.. …The only ‘religious-type’ text that I connected with it at all during this period was the children’s version of Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ (the title of which is ‘Little Pilgrim’s Progress’, written by Helen Taylor) that I’d read before I was ten, and had enjoyed very much (I still have a copy actually)…It made a very deep impression on me … But the message in the book didn’t seem to be too ‘puritanical’, at least not to me; and I was fine with the degree of striving involved, in order for the young pilgrim to complete his journey… I seemed to ‘get’ the morality of it without any problem. …And somehow it seemed to clarify part of what I sensed the whole thing was about …(But I was only nine or so at the time – when all said and done)…

Delving into other ‘religions’ in my mid-teens only made this whole situation worse.. Because – absent the cultural connection, and unlike a lot of what was going on with other people of my age at the time – these stories all seemed to me to be even more implausible than my own. … I couldn’t even take the majority of them seriously enough to disagree with them… Let’s put it that way!… And the platitudes of various ‘gurus’ etc. from the ‘mysterious and mystical’ sub-continent of India later on in the mid-sixties just sounded to me like an endless recycling of the sort of sentimental stuff that you find scripted on the inside of birthday greetings, and Christmas cards…

What to do then? …. Well, the light started to go on for me when I came across the following words of St. Thomas Aquinas … “In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful to them and that they may render more copious thanks to God for it, they are allowed to see perfectly the sufferings of the damned.” … After reading this particularly nasty piece of ‘inspired writing’, it hit me that,  as far as I could see, much of what was being claimed by men, about what it was that God, life, and ‘the purpose of it all’, etc. could be viewed as was – when you got down to it – just an involved series of rewards and punishments… Such that, for instance, the wealthy ‘got theirs’ during this (earlier) earthly existence, while the rest of poverty-stricken humanity, ‘got theirs’ in something referred to a the ‘afterlife.” – A sort of weird (and very convenient) ‘payback’ arrangement…. Anyway, whatever it was, it appeared to me to have a profoundly materialistic foundation –  for all it’s prattling-on about morality and ethics…Because, in the end, the promise here always seemed to be the same, “Believe this – and there’ll be something in it for you.” … And at that point in my journey … thankfully … I was able to leave all this behind….Because that just didn’t seem to be at all what it was ‘all about’ to me ….I didn’t like the whole idea – particularly where it concerned the ‘special deals’ that seemed to be on offer …’Saint-hood’, ‘prayers for the dead’, rewards for ‘going to church’ and that sort of thing…

But if I was going to stop bothering with all that… I couldn’t say ‘drop it all’ because it wasn’t like I’d ever ‘picked it up’… What was it that I going to ‘carry with me’ in its stead then?… What was of use here?…. This now became my new pressing concern…. Because I still had all those damned questions of mine rattling round in my head…

But on the positive side, I was now a whole lot ‘cooler’ about the ‘believe systems’ of others…. and in fact I still don’t get involved in ‘debates’ about ‘science v religion’, even today, if I can possibly avoid it – because I think it’s a classic example of people ‘talking past each other’ frankly – and a more fitting pursuit for a couple of smart-arsed ale-house lawyers…

So, as I say, I was to put my acceptance of any belief system that was being offered ‘out there’, on the back burner – for the time being at least… But that still didn’t mean that I wasn’t a very enthusiastic searcher.. And, looking back, I see that it was strange that I didn’t feel any impatience about immediately finding any ‘solid ground’ here – because that is very unusual for me… I felt instead, that somehow that I was still going to get there (and I still do)…. Wherever ‘there’ is, of course…

Anyway …I began to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, sometime in the early 1980’s when, through a couple recorded talks (see below) I came across the writings of Jacob Boehme… I soon saw any number of ‘Virtual Highlights’ in his stuff ( too many actually)… But I will admit that I couldn’t see an ‘over-all picture’ in his writings – at least not for a very long time …However, I did sense that – for all the obscurity of his texts – I was finally ‘in the right area’….

[If you don’t know who Jacob Boehme is, then you can check him out for yourself here by listening to these three (in my opinion) excellent audio recordings of introductory lecture on various aspects of Boehme’s thought, given by two friends of Eugene Halliday’s – David Mahlowe; and Donald Lord. You can then go on to download every single one of Jacob Boehme’s books from the Internet, for free, if you would like to learn more..

The Seven Spirits Of Jacob Boehme – David Mahlowe

The Four Complexions of Jacob Boehme – David Mahlowe

Jacob Boehme’s Election of Grace – Donald Lord

Eugene Halliday studied Boehme extensively, and he also made copious notes on many of Boehme’s ideas… Here are two very short examples for you to look over.

Eugene Halliday – Boehme Seven Properties

Eugene Halliday – Boehme Centre and Circumference

 

Anyway, it was Jacob Boehme’s inspired writings, such as these couple of paragraphs from Chapter 6 of his Three-Fold Life of Man (also contained in Chapter 10, of W. Scott Palmer’s excellent (in my view) Anthology – The Confessions of Jacob Boehme) that played a large part in solving the above ‘Eskimo’ problem for me;

19. The law of God, and also the way to life, is written in our hearts: It lieth in no man’s supposition and knowing, nor in any historical opinion, but in a good will and well­doing. The will leadeth us to God, or to the devil; it availeth not whether thou hast the name of a Christian, salvation doth not consist therein.

20. A Heathen and a Turk is as near to God, as thou, who art under the name of Christ: if thou bringest forth a false ungodly will in thy deeds [lead a wicked life], thou art as much without God, as a Heathen that hath no desire nor will to God.

21. And if a Turk seek God with earnestness, though he walk in blindness, yet he is of the number of those that are children without under­standing; and he reacheth to God with the children which do not yet know what they speak: for it lieth not in the knowing, but in the will [purpose and resolution].

… And now it’s time to add a pinch Eugene Halliday:-

[Note: please bear in mind here that ‘is’, is the Present Simple tense (third person) of the verb ‘to be’…]

The first phrase I can attribute to Eugene Halliday that had any lasting affect on me was, “All that there is, is Sentient Power’…Which I actually heard first from Ken Ratcliffe.  (By the way, when dealing with ‘Working’, I will not be using acronyms such as, for example, ‘SP’ for Sentient Power; or ‘short-hand’ versions of words, such as, for example, ‘resec’, for reflexive-self-consciousnes, in this blog if I can possibly avoid it. Because, frankly, the practice depresses me) .. Anyway this concept of Eugene Halliday’s – which I view as very  simple – was to provide me with a great deal of support over the years…. Not because I understood it particularly, but because it became a ‘governing concept’ (more about them later) of mine with very little help from me…. I must point out here that ‘Sentient Power’ is not the same thing at all as ‘Absolute Sentient Power’ (Can you spot the difference?) … In the latter case, those who are fond of using this phrase invariably add, “Which is the same as ‘God’,” or, “What we mean when we say ‘God’, “… Which actually isn’t what I mean … So I’m just going to stick with, “All that there is, is Sentient Power.”… (If you don’t mind)..

I take this to mean exactly what it says, by the way… That is, every facet of being (of ‘is-ness’) such as awareness; feeling; emotions; sensations; consciousness; material existence etc…. ‘are all’ … or, ‘have their being’ … or, ‘take their rise from’ … or, ‘are aspects of’… or, ‘IS’ …this Sentient Power…  Thus, it follows from this that I too am, in some sense (which I will go into in a later post) Sentient Power… As indeed are you … and also that steaming dog turd just outside your front door…

This viewpoint, by the way, now had the affect of making one of my ‘very important questions’ much simpler to articulate. To wit – “What is Sentient Power ‘up to’, here … now?”…

Well – to cut straight to the chase here – Sentient Power ‘loves’… And, once again, to quote Eugene Halliday, “The word [love] means ‘laboring for the development of the potentialities of being’.”

Thus, ‘Peoples of the North’ have the ability (being aspects of Sentient Power themselves – because that’s all there ‘is’, remember) can – without the mediation of anyone in the particular – ‘labor for the development of the potentialities of being’…Because that’s what Sentient Power does…Whenever it possibly can…

Which all just seems ‘right’ to me. And also – for use as an initial point of departure at least – provides one way of structuring this whole business of ‘being here’, ‘from the ground up’ as it were…. Anything that can help to dispense with the idea that there are ‘essential people’ necessary for the rest of us to ‘get the message here’, such as: The Pope; The Archbishop of Canterbury; the Head Rabbi; The Chief Mula, The Dali Llama; Billy Graham; Jim Jones; Bhagwan Shree Rajbeesh; Eckhart Tolle; New Age gurus; etc, makes me feel a whole lot better, when I attempt to contemplate the ‘meaning’ of ‘purpose’ here … Because, as I’m Sentient Power (just as ‘everything’ and even – Eugene Halliday would argue – ‘everythink’ is) I can always, in every moment – if I reflect on the situation that I find myself in – chose to ‘labor for the development of the potentialities of being’… or not….. I have to confess though, that were it concerns my own efforts here, in this world, to date, while I am always aware that this is possible for me to do, most of the time I chose not to…

No other particular human being appears to be essential for me here….  Although – to varying degrees – there have been people who have entered may life and have assisted me in this process ..And indeed, as they say… ‘That’s what friends are for’… (No… Better still, I would say, ‘That’s what friends are.”)…. But it’s not like you are in a permanent state of panic, attempting to  keep your options open until you make contact with that ‘special person’ …

This ‘meaning’ of mine that I have outlined here is obviously not an etymological or definitional thing … and if you ‘don’t get it’ then there’s nothing much that I can do about that… But this is what it ‘means’ to me… And I can now add that it’s centered around my experiences, or my interactions with, aspects of Sentient Power… and also that it’s about ‘Being Here Now’ … It’s not about ‘secret knowledge’, or being in the company (from time to time) of someone that you fantasize is ‘on a higher level than you’, or is ‘an avator’, or ‘enlightened’ (How the hell would you know anyway, by the way?)… It’s about ‘balance’ …. If it has to be about anything, that is. …

And, in my case at least, the result of acquiring (in part at least) an active language, will not necessarily assist in transforming me into something ‘better’. From being, say, something like a caterpillar (clinging frantically to the earth), into something like a butterfly (fluttering delicately above the petunias) for example … But it might – rather – help me to be transformed from something like a ‘tadpole’ (a rather insignificant, silent, and slimy thing) into a ‘frog’ (an even bigger, wrigglier, far noisier, and much slimier thing) …

“Ribbit … Ribbit…”

Bridge: “No, you can’t have my meaning! … Get your own!”

“Men content themselves with the same words as other people use, as if the very sound necessary carried the same meaning.” – John Locke

In the case of (the ‘tie’ thing), I think it’s fairly obvious that my account here is not a ‘definition’ of the material object – ‘my father’s tie’; neither does it present an understanding of this object…. What it does rather, is provide an account of my relationship to this object. And it is this relationship that constitutes the substance of (or ‘the matter of’), what I refer to as, the ‘meaning’ of ‘my father’s tie’.

It is this sense that I take to be this object’s (my father’s tie) primary ‘meaning’… As a consequence then, I would argue that, without my ‘being’ in the world, or – to put this another way – without this particular aspect of Sentient Power (that constitutes me) existing, this other particular aspect of Sentient Power (that constitutes my father’s tie) could never have come to possess this ‘meaning’….

An outcome that I view as extremely cool….

If I now work backwards from this position, I can see that I had a major problem from the beginning with this word ‘meaning’ when I insisted on focussing on it as a single word (as I might do, say, with any single one of the words contained in this particular post)… I have no problem agreeing with a particular authoritative version of the definition of any word (in my case the OED)…. But, in the case of the word ‘meaning’ –  although I seemed to know what I ‘meant’ here – I  couldn’t tie this ‘meaning’ of mine down when I attempted to do so…. And I had the same lack of success even with words that you might think were ‘easy’ – such as ‘marriage’ or ‘parent’ … Because it was becoming clear to me that the ‘meaning’ (in the general, common sense, use) of these words could be taken to be almost anything… And as, in the majority of ‘helpful’ conversations – where it concerned ‘normal enquiry’ that is – the overwhelming desire here by most of those taking part is the attempt to appear clever, or informed (or, if they’re smart, ‘sincere’) by simply ‘reacting’ to what it was that someone else said (under the guise of supplying ‘input’ – a version of speaking as part of a group that is often [mistakenly] referred to as ‘brainstorming’ by the ignorant), it was next to impossible to get to any ‘meaning’ in the sense that I am using the term here…Although there might be a great deal of ‘information’ flying about…

It seemed to me that in these cases I was always attempting to ‘force things’…And although I like to believe that I was able to come up with some ‘very good ideas’ here, I would – more than likely  – forget these in a very short time … But in the case of the example above (of my ‘meaning’ for ‘my father’s tie’) I don’t have to remember anything … I just look at this object, or I imagine myself looking at this object, and I then ‘see’ what the ‘meaning’ of  it ‘is’…. It reveals itself… by itself … before me…I don’t have to ‘try to remember’ … And because of this, I now believe that I will never ‘forget’ this meaning – simply because I don’t have to try and remember it in the first place…

I will say that I actually had better luck in my attempts to get to the bottom of what ‘meaning’ was, with relatively complex concepts – such as the one in …Before I figured out a way to work with single ‘words’ (or, more exactly, ‘nouns’ first) – even to a limited degree…

The inspiration for associating ‘meaning’ with objects in the ‘objective world’ (such as the tie) came about rather slowly.. And I actually got my first hint when I was working with the group of words; ‘sign’; ‘icon’; … and ‘symbol’… It was ‘symbol’ that gave me my first clue, because I realized that it was impossible for the ‘meaning’ of a symbol to be discovered from its definition… But that you can always  define a sign – in fact you have to (‘This picture of a red raised hand ‘means’ Halt.”). And as a consequence of this I consciously attempted to remember to use a word such as, ‘indicates’, instead of  ‘means’ here, when talking about signs ….

In the case of an icon, it ‘represents’…. For example -“The imagery in this mural is from the Russian Orthodox Church, and it is an iconic representation of St. Michael.”)… So it is possible, simply by researching here, to discover what an icon is primarily representative of.. Such that, if you’re asked what it is that a particular icon ‘means’ (where I would now say ‘represents’), by simply supplying the correct information, you will do the trick.

Finally, there are any number of ways then of appearing to be able to interpret symbols. For instance you can simply commit to memory accounts of  the ‘meaning’ of a symbol that others have experienced when ‘working’ with them and have subseqently ‘written up’… You can then easily present these accounts as your own … (I have found this a very common, and very sad, occurrence)… But I eventually came to see ‘meaning’ as the crucial component in the interpretation and consequent understanding of any symbolism …

I would maintian then, that ‘symbols’ cannot be defined. But this is not to say that a particular dogmatic interpretation cannot be ‘learnt by rote’ (hence ‘schools’ of astrology)…. However, the ‘meaning’ of symbols, at least in the sense that I ‘mean’ it, cannot be learnt… It can only come from the experiential ‘you’… And I can see that this is complicated by the fact that there is a difference between the common ‘meaning’ of a symbol in the ‘public domain’ (such as the imagery of Tarot Cards) and the hermeneutic personal ‘meaning’ of an object (or image) that has been acquired by you due entirely to a personal relationship….

Re the ‘tie account’ then … This  meaning was actively put here by me.This is the meaning that this particular object has for me – out of all those objects that have ever existed in the past; that do exist now; and that will exist in the future … The tie represents (or symbolizes) this experience of mine.. As the alchemists might have put this – it ‘fixes’ this experience of mine … But this tie is not symbolic in this way for you … This meaning is completely hidden from you… It would be impossible in principle for you to ‘get this’ meaning of mine from simply studying that tie. Because my relationship with it is unique, and is what gives it this ‘meaning’…

However, I can share this ‘meaning’ with you, (A sort of ‘The Fellowship of Tie’ thing if you like) particularly if you told me of some object out there that represented (to you) some aspect of this account of mine, in some way that you could verbalize, and that you believed you resonated with….

This is a social phenomena that serves to give some purpose to this ‘living’ business for me. Because through the possibility of this sharing of ‘meaning’ with others, we can establish ‘real’ relationships – ‘Sentient Power meets Sentient Power’ if you like.  But this does demand that you have ‘got yourself out there’ and ‘done a bit’ … Because you can’t experience your life ‘second hand’ – through someone else’s account… Although you can appropriate someone else’s account and then attempt to pass it off as your own; or manufacture one of your own from the comfort of your ‘retreat’ ( you could lie about one and so present yourself as someone you’re not; or be sly about it, and present yourself in such a way that others infer things about your life that are false )…

So that now, after pondering on this ‘tie thing’ for a long time, I can split all the objects ‘out there’ into two groups: a group that will contain those objects that, through the course of my life, became ‘meaningful’ to me – a limited group of objects obviously, because I only live for a finite time; and all the rest of the objects ‘out there (which might constitute an infinity of objects, for all I care).. And this way of looking at this situation says something to me about the word, ‘Mercy’ … …. But I’ll stop there for now on this, because I don’t want to go all mysterious on you again ….

‘Tie’ also has an OED ‘definition/etymology’ of course, and there is probably a lot that is said ‘in the public domain’ about the word ‘tie’. But all this, however, has nothing to do with it’s ‘meaning’ for me …

And finally of course, for many people, the word ‘tie’ might never possess any particular ‘meaning’ at all – even if they wear one every day of their lives…and that’s OK too, of course… ‘Horses for courses’ as they say …

In the case of experiences such as (The Eskimo thing). I would initially be troubled by a particular scenario to begin with. In this case it would be something like, “How would a group of people from one environment (the ‘Middle-East’), communicate ideas to a group of people who live in a completely different environment (the ‘Frozen North’), if the explanatory material they use had become dogmatized and so relied almost exclusively upon experiences arising from interactions with particular regional, local, cultural, and environmental, experiences?”

Then, I would be aware that there were a number of crucial concepts that supplied a ‘meaningful answer’ for me here that appeared to come form material produced by two distinctly separate human beings from two completely separate eras; ideas, I would say then, that are not obviously connected… I would then realize that all this was quite mysterious, and that the chance of it occurring to others in exactly this way (even if they posed the ‘same kind’ of question) was somewhat remote….

The material that I have synthesized here, in my example, that comes from Boehme and Halliday does, I believe, reside entirely in the realm of this experiential ‘meaning’ created by me….But it could very easily be appropriated by someone else who – for the best of intentions – wished to formulate my question in more ‘formal terms’ and, using the substance of the answer that satisfied my search for my ‘meaning’ here – rearrange it, such that they supplied a ‘clearer version’ to ‘the greater public’ as it were. … My point here? … I believe that, in this case, this material would be passive (although perhaps ‘informative and presented in a very acceptable and entertaining manner’) – and there would be every chance that it would soon be forgotten by both the presenter and the audience here….

I know of a number of people who appear to believe that they can ‘acquire/appropriate/learn’ the ‘Work’ of others, simply by studying these ‘closely’ (often by presenting themselves as a suitably ‘humble enquirer’ in an attempt to manufacture an acceptable face, for what is – essentially – thievery; or at best a form of self-serving appropriation; or – to put it more traditionally – covetousness), and then attempting to ‘pass on’ this acquired information by ‘giving talks’ … I’ll just say here that I do not believe this approach ‘works’ – at least in any appreciably effective way; and that further, if it ever was the case that it did, then the implications are horrendous …It will, at best, possibly provide those doing so with ‘a reputation’, or with a way to ‘earn a living’ … I suppose.

In my case though – as the question came to me ‘unformulated’ as it were – that is, I had to struggle in order to clarify what the hell it was that was bothering me – I don’t ‘remember it’… It’s there whenever I want it in the form of an experience…. It is no longer merely just (more) information…

The experience of acquiring ‘meaning’ then, is as if there is now always a path for me that I have forged for myself, to a destination that I can always now perceive – and the resurrection (a lovely word) of this ‘meaning’ by me then, would constitute the time it would take me for me to describe this journey either to myself, or to others…

…These re-tellings of mine might turn out to be somewhat different from the initial account I have given in and A² above … (Actually, I believe that if any further account of  A¹ and A² by me is going to have any life in it – it has to be different) …

A³: Tell Me a Story

What then of people who pass on accounts of ‘meaning’ – but not from an experiential perspective.? …. This, to me, is what we allow teachers to do.

The best teachers seem to include their own authentic experiential accounts in any dissemination of information (their ‘subject of expertise’ as it were) whenever possible. … But, as meaning becomes less and less important in this dissemination, so we can move further towards ‘pure information’ – towards ‘logic’ (but please, not necessarily, towards ‘rationality’)….

Perhaps, at the ‘collective experiential end’ of the scale, the best examples of teaching techniques would be those involving the transmission of ideas, regarding morality etc. that are contained in folk tales and parables, where the teacher ties these stories into a significant contemporary event; and at the other end of the scale, the material contained in subjects such as mathematics…

One of the reasons for the adulation of ‘spiritual teachers’ (if I can call them that) is that the listener assumes that much of what is being said is experiential, when in fact it is not… And it is crucially important when becoming aware that you might be falling under the influence of someone else (for whatever reason) to spend as much time as you possibly can in ignoring what they are saying, and attending very closely to what it is that they actually do. …. This method of filtering out rubbish works both ways incidentally – in that ‘real’ teachers will select their pupils…. And it can often be the case that someone you need to listen to (or relate to, might be better) will present themselves as somewhat ‘undesirable’ – as this will effectively filter out those ‘seekers after truth’ who are merely looking for a diversion, or a social situation that is ‘enjoyable’ …. Important also to bear in mind here, in my opinion, is that you can ‘mistake the messenger for the message’ very, very easily.

 

Coda.

If we spoke only from our ‘meaning’, most of us would say a lot less….

When I hear speech that I believe is emanating from meaning – in the sense that I have tried to illustrate in the above post – I experience what I call ’empathy’: a ‘standing with, or ‘next to’…And, in my case at least, this is nothing like my experience of ‘compassion’…

Ne marche pas derrière moi, je ne te guiderai peut-être pas.
Ne marche pas devant moi, je ne suivrai peut-être pas.
Marche juste à côté de moi et sois mon ami.”

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
                                                           Albert Camus

Zugabe

This post could need quite a bit of proofing and some editing – which I try to get to as I can  … This is because I’m globe-trotting at the moment – and will be moving about somewhat for the next five or six weeks… So apologies in advance if the material here seems to ramble about even more than usual…

 

To be continued …

 

Bob Hardy

28th February  2013

 

[Joseph] claimed to be not only God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost, but other important personages as well. … Joseph claimed to have been all over the world … He went on to say that he was governor of Illinois
Were you governor of Illinois, or God?
“God … and I was also the governor of Illinois”
You were both”
“Yes!…I have to make my living you know.”

From  ‘The Three Christs of Ypsilanti’ by Milton Rokeach

 

There! …
There is no cave, it is gone
But where did it go?
I cannot find me….
Where am I?
… Lost!

From a poem by a schizophrenic patient – ‘Psychiatry Quarterly’-Vol XXX

____________________________

Not surprisingly – Yet More Stuff on Words…(mostly silent)

“..(He looks around) … I could ask you all that old chestnut, ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’ …I suppose … (He pauses, looking vaguely irritated, folds one arm across his chest,and  lifts the first finger of his other hand to his lips as he does so, as if deep in thought) 

(He removes the finger from his lips and continues) But to tell you the truth … I’m not really all that interested in hearing any of your answers…(He gives a resigned shrug)… Because … Well … I just know that I’ve heard them all before…

(He spins around suddenly, walking quickly downstage before addressing the audience in a much more enthusiastic voice) … But you know what?… (He grins widely, gestures animatedly, extends his arms, and almost shouting, repeats) You know what? … I would be very interested indeed! …. Fascinated in fact!… To hear any thoughts that you might care to offer up here… Where it concerns that far more vexing question (he quickly lowers his voice, sounding almost apologetic) at least as far as I’m concerned …(he pauses, his grin vanishes, and he pushes out his neck aggressively, before asking, loudly and quizzically) … … “What, exactly, is the sound of two hands clapping!”…(He stands motionless. Once again he is at the front of stage with his arms extended . Fade to blackout)

From ‘Fieldnotes for Armageddon’ by Bob Hardy

The last couple of posts focused, in the main, on the subject of the ‘spoken word’ –  a form of ‘organized sound’ that we commonly refer to as ‘language’ (or ‘parole’ if you prefer), plus suggestions by me as to what audio-files from the ‘Eugene Halliday’s Archive’ that you might like to start with. Obviously there’s a lot more in Eugene Halliday’s approach to the subject of language than the ideas contained in these two talks. But as one of the major purposes of this blog is the attempt by me to describe my particular, over-all, approach to Eugene Halliday’s material, I won’t be staying on any one particular topic for too long – at least not at this stage… So I’m now going to move on to the subject of the ‘written word’ – where it pertains to ‘active’ and ‘passive’ forms of language, that is ….

Which brings me rather nicely to subject of ‘the production of précis’ …

The suggestions by Eugene Halliday re the writing of ‘précis’ are contained in his ‘Rules for Ishval Members’ (Rules 2 – 6 inclusive), created by him sometime around 1966…  I have written something about these rules in my early blog posts… Anyway, here are these rules again:-

2. Each member shall, with due regard to ISHVAL’S purpose, and according to his capacity, undertake to convert his passive vocabulary into an active one, firstly by dictionary research into the etymology of his existing vocabulary, subsequently by extending this vocabulary as far as possible.

3. Each member shall, according to his capacity, modify his proced­ures of thought, feeling, will and action, in conformity with the new understanding arising from the conversion of his passive vo­cabulary into ever wider fields of significance.

4. Each member shall periodically offer to his fellow members the fruits of his studies and be prepared on request of the Chief Officers to précis these studies for the general benefit of members, and to lecture upon or discuss his findings and, conclusions.

5. Each member shall contribute, according to his capacity, to the general extension of the Institute’s work in whatever field it may find an application.

6. Each member, according to his capacity, shall study the basic scriptures of world religions, and the major writings of phil­osophers and scientists and artists, and  recognise  the value of making précis of these.

Did Eugene Halliday produce any précis himself? … Well until relatively recently, I had no idea whether or not he had. But then in 2006, quite by chance, I discovered that – over an extended period that must surely have spanned decades – he had produced an astonishing number of them …covering a variety of diverse subjects: science, art, religion, ethics, philosophy… There was even one on ‘The Tarot’…And if you had no real knowledge of the actual source material he had been working with, you could easily mistake these précis of Eugene Halliday’s for original works. … I believe that very few people were even aware of their existence, or – even if they did – what these documents actually were (that is, what was ‘going on’ here)… Indeed, at the present time, I still have no idea really, just how many people have seen these documents for themselves – or if, in fact, anyone else has …  Luckily though, I did manage to get the opportunity to look through a great many of them, and I can tell you that a considerable number were over four hundred pages long… I eventually scanned a dozen or so of them – not only as examples of Eugene Halliday’s ‘Work’ for my own research, but also because I had a gut feeling at the time, that these notebooks would never see the light of day, and would simply ‘disappear’ for lack of direction on the part of those responsible here. Regrettably, some twenty-five years after Eugene Halliday’s death, my understanding here is that these documents have still not been made available – even for limited viewing. … So here are my scanned copies of ten of these notebooks.

My purpose in making these scans available is twofold. First it is to demonstrate that, in my view, the degree to which Eugene Halliday was capable of applying himself to this task was considerable; and two, to clarify, once and for all, that he did not receive information in the areas of (for example) science, religion, art, philosophy etc. via some sort of ‘supernatural osmosis’ or ‘cosmic-information-field-transfer’; or because he was ‘an avatar, or ‘a chosen one’; or that he traveled to some ‘astral place of learning’ in a ‘trance’; or something equally ridiculous …. But rather, that he did it  – like any normal human being would do it – by getting up off his behind and applying himself … And that he cultivated this ability of his to do so, by methodically laboring at it for a significantly greater percentage of his waking life – across a period that must have spanned decades – than most folk are willing to devote to anything, even for a few days… However, although I would be the first to agree that this ability of his was remarkable, the use of this technique is certainly not that unusual – at least to the extent that some folk might claim… What was unusual perhaps, was the depth of insight that this ‘Work’ – which he labored at all his life – subsequently provided him with.

After examining these notebooks of Eugene Halliday’s I would advise you to spend some time in contemplating just how long it might have taken him to produce even one decent sized volume; realize that there were very many of these notebooks produced by him over the years; and then go on to consider that this activity represented only one aspect of his ‘Work’…. And finally, go on to realize that there is nothing supernatural about this ability at all….Incidentally, in my opinion, it would surely be a truly cruel thing to suggest to others that they ‘do as you have done’ if it wasn’t possible for them to do so, in principle at least, … due to the ‘fact’ (say) that you were in receipt of some kind of ‘special’, one-off, ‘celestial dispensation’ here … … Would it? … On the other hand, if you were at something of a disadvantage in life to start with (say you were … I dunno … severely disabled for example) then your advice here would surely shame at least one or two of those people who were forever claiming to be ‘followers of your teachings’ into attempting to do as you suggested… You might like to think about that when you have a spare moment or two … I appreciate though, that for most of the time at least, and for some reason which you can’t get ‘get your teeth into’, you’re ‘doing something else’, or ‘simply ‘just ‘too busy’ at the moment’ … ‘What a life’, hey? …

These précis were hand-written by Eugene Halliday; each notebook page being roughly the size of a unlined postcard, and written on both sides (which he has usually numbered)  …. I would say that he made use of a black biro. However, it is possible that he may have used an ink pen – but I couldn’t be sure. These pages were subsequently bound together by hand, using needle and thread, and over most of them, a cover was then glued. (I have also scanned these covers).

What was the source material of these précis … Well, I would suggest here – if you’re interested that is – that you can do this part of the research for yourself… I will give you two of them though, to get you started. The ‘Zen’ précis is from a Suzuki book; and the ‘Sorcery’ précis is from a series of books by Carlos Castaneda about the Yaqui shaman, Don Juan (notably the second book in this series)… There are also two smaller notebooks here – ‘The Body’ and ‘Modern Physics’ – and about the source material of these, I have no idea. … However, the subject material contained in the latter of these two notebooks is similar in content to other books for the non-scientist – such as Gary Zukav’s ‘The Dancing Wu Li Masters’ (1979), or Frijof Capra’s ‘The Tao of Physics’ (1977) ….

Anyway, here they are…. By the way, some of these files are small, but one or two – such as ‘Islam’ (wouldn’t you just know it!) – are much bigger:

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Zen

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Sorcery

Précis – Eugene Halliday – The Body

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Modern Physics

Précis – Eugene Halliday – The Basics of Judaism

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Soul

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Pseudo-Denys

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Karlfried Von Durkheim

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Hierarchy

Précis – Eugene Halliday – Islam

The amount of work involved in producing each of these notebooks is obviously considerable. But, even so, let me again make it clear here that I do not see this very ‘sensible’ piece of advice from Eugene Halliday – re the the study, and consequent production of a précis, of some particular subject or other – to be anything more than sound common sense. Particularly as it would not be unusual at all for any diligent student to have incorporated this approach to learning into their studying regime… Although, in my opinion, Eugene Halliday brings far more rigor to the task in hand than your average student (at least more than I ever did!)  … And thus, while this technique might be a component – even an essential one – in the task of ‘Working’ – it is by no means, in my view, the most important one….

Of premier importance to me also, was the realization (actually more of a ‘dawning revelation’) that the contents of Eugene Halliday’s précis material were not really of any use to me personally, particularly when it came to my own efforts at ‘Working’ … With the result that I now maintain it is not actually possible, in principle, to appropriate the fruits of anyone else’s ‘Work’ in order to increase the vocabulary of one’s own ‘active language’…. No matter how reasonable, or attractive, or ‘harmless’, that this idea might seem at the time…Although, obviously, your own clarification of a body of particular ideas can be achieved by reading, or hearing, someone else’s approach to the subject, particularly if the subject concerned is an already well-established academic discipline …. Which is really how we all personally decide whether or not that teacher of ours – ‘way back when’ – was ‘any good’ … Don’t we? … At least as far as our own ‘learning curve’ goes.