“Anything can happen if you let it.” – Mary Poppins

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In order to examine what your previous life has ‘meant’ to you, you must obviously have lived it… If though instead, you invested most of your energy in attempting to be be someone else, then you (and also incidentally, that person you were pretending to be) cannot possibly have realized a meaningful profit down here …

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I’ve never been a huge fan of Descartes’ ‘Cogito’.

It was originally written in French by the way (‘Je pense, donc je suis’)  before being foisted upon the rest of us, in its far more familiar Latin version, as ‘Cogito ergo sum’.. Presumably in order to give it more ‘cultural wack’. Something like that doctor’s prescription then that was also written in Latin  – and for almost exactly the same reasons … The one your doctor handed to you after conducting one of those ‘examinations’ of his – way back in the 1950’s. That you then took along to your local chemist, who disappeared into the back of the shop in order to ‘dispense’ it. Before finally re-appearing and presenting you with a suitably labelled bottle of green, or red colored (by and large) water.

Of course, Descartes ‘cogito’ finally ended up in English as, ‘I think, therefore I am’.. But my own (preferred) rendering of this is,  “Thinking might be present – but this doesn’t necessarily mean that I am.”  

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! …How to proceed here? …

As I see it, these are the essential steps that Eugene Halliday advised others to take. And I would claim that they are very clear, straightforward. and (deceptively) simple.

    • To appreciate that ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power.
    • To understand that this Sentient Power ‘is continually Working for the development of the potential in all being.
    • That all beings – and this includes you of course (and also Eugene Halliday by the way) are circumscribed modalities of this power.
    • That, in order to Work, it is necessary for you to first of all develop an active language .
    • That any profit you (as a circumscribed being) accrue from this Working, consists entirely in that increased ability you now possess to behave more Reflexively Self-Consciously.

Reflexive Self-Consciousness is a function of Sentient Power. An ability that we already possess to some degree – think of it as a ‘talent(s)’. But that does not necessarily mean that we will (ever) make use of this talent. Because, perhaps (metaphorically) ‘we can always bury it in field’; or because we were, perhaps, afraid to make use of it…. It helps me here to view any increase in my own ability (an increase that can only ever come about in me as a consequence of my own Working) as a ‘profit’. – in the sense that this term is used in the New Testament.

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You will never see anything until you make use of the right metaphor that allows you to do so.

So here’s (yet another)  metaphor 🙂

The number of different ways in which a regular deck of 52 cards can be dealt is 52!. Which – as a real number- is written:

806,581,751,709,438,785,716,606,368,564,037,669,752,89,505,440,883,277,824,000,000,000,000 … (!)

Because of the sheer magnitude of this number, I would maintain that it is obviously just not realistic for anyone to expect to repeat any particular 52-card deal during their own lifetime.

And thus, each and every individual deal can then, be uniquely viewed as a ‘one time event’. At least for any practical purposes of ours here.

Metaphorically then, any one of these particular 52-card deals could, I would venture to suggest, be seen as uniquely ‘equivalent’ to ‘you’…

And for whatever philosophical, or theological, etc. reason(s) that you might then decide on in order to examine (or not), or guide (or not), this ‘you’, through the course of your life, you can at least rest assured that you are going to be dealing with exactly the same ‘you’, while you go about it.

The one rule here concerning this unique ‘deal’ of yours, by the way, is that you can’t just swap it for another ‘deal’ … (Say, one that you imagine that you might prefer to play with).

So you can only, then, either play out the sequence given to you at the beginning; or instead, decide that you aren’t going play at all (or hardly play at all)…. And it is this decision of yours that you continually have to make over the course of your life here that does, in fact (I would maintain) constitute the essence of that ‘free will’ of yours.

Any ‘meaning’ that these various ‘plays’ of yours might then come to have here for you, is left entirely up to you. These ‘meanings’ though, will obviously center entirely around the way that you have chosen to live – both temporally and materially… How you also subsequently come to value these meanings of yours, is also entirely up to you (So, more of that ‘free will’ of yours, is involved here).

On the other hand of course you can always – by practicing the art of manipulation and (self) deception here – simply cheat! … Problem solved then! (But regrettably only for the time being)…

And in this case, as you will be ‘living’ instead through this bogus hand that you would have preferred to have been dealt… The one that you have had to continually ‘bear in mind’ throughout your life in order to keep it in being (continually ‘refresh’ this ‘part’ that you have chosen to play), and that, as a consequence will be what it is that you really ‘worshipped’ here…  You will now have to go on to learn – if you are lucky, that is, (because for many here this realization will usually come far too late in the game to be profited from) – that the only being who was being cheated here by you, was you 🙂

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You’re only ever really ‘getting past it’ when you are no longer open to new ideas. A state that you will also inevitably find yourself in if you’re still far too busy being hostile to, or are still clinging to, some of your old ideas.

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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My particular approach at attempting to Work with Eugene Halliday’s various concepts was to – first of all – initiate some form of system or other that would evolve from my own particular ‘Governing Concept’. In my particular case (and also, I believe, in Eugene Halliday’s) this would be, ‘All that there is, is Sentient Power: and this Sentient Power is Working for the development of potential in all being’. At the same time I would Work at attempting to convert specific components of my passive language into my active language.

I do not however, claim that this is definitely the only approach to Working – even though I have no real experience of Working in any other way.

But I do believe that it is possible to, “Just doing the right thing,” as it were. That is, to ‘Be in the Light’; as opposed to ‘Be searching for the Light’… So, there would be no need to construct a ‘system’ at all then, in this instance!

I would also say that my particular metaphor/allegory of ‘a journey’ that I use to describe my own process of ‘Working’ is also (and, I think, more obviously) not absolutely necessary either in all of this.

As to others here though… I wouldn’t really be comfortable saying anything about anyone else’s approach here. Without at least either trying that approach out for myself, or speaking at length about it with the person involved …(Which was one of the main reasons for me writing this blog, by the way) And even then, I would only really be happy with saying what this might seem, or not seem to indicate to me here, from my own particular perspective…

But without being provided by someone with a verifiable account of their progress; or by my observation of their expressed behavior over a period of time, I would be extremely reluctant to offer even a facile opinion as to whether or not they were doing something that I understood to be ‘Working’ or ‘Knowing yourself’ (as opposed to me, say, maintaining that they do seem to have acquired any number of interesting things to say on the subject).

And obviously, if they were doing this Work of theirs in a – so to say – ‘secret way’ (although this claim, in my experience at least, is almost invariably an example of ‘Still waters running shallow’) then clearly none of this would ever arise… At least where it concerns any exchange between us re methodologies here.

Thus, my viewpoint regarding those who claim to have been ‘influenced’, or to have ‘sat at the feet of Eugene Halliday’, or to be ‘in the know’ here, or who claim to find his material ‘very interesting’, or even (in their opinion) ‘true’ – without providing any meaningful context as to what it is exactly that they mean (in the way that I have elaborated upon with my own perspective on this subject in far more detail in earlier posts here) – is that it doesn’t really amount to much …

But who knows? Their interpretation of Halliday’s various texts might not consist of simply the odd remark or throw-away homily (that reactive response to some fragment or other here that has taken their fancy for the moment) – but might indeed be part of some complete, and fundamentally different, approach to the one that I use here.

So I’ll just summarize this segment here, by adding (in line with what I have written previously above) that I believe it’s possible to Work using other methods. But that I don’t really have anything useful to say about these, because I don’t know what it would actually mean to use them (although I might be quite happy to engage in some intellectual sparring with you about them – provided you paid me enough).

As Jack Palance would have it in the movie ‘Shane’ (a sacred text of mine), if you do maintain that you use another method, as far as I’m concerned, then… “Prove it!”…

Of course you don’t have to do anything of the sort if you don’t want to. But (as I’ve said repeatedly in these posts) if you want to discuss Working with me, then you will have to demonstrate in some way to my satisfaction that you have a methodology in place that you can reasonably elaborate upon; together with some understanding of the underlying processes involved. Plus, and – most importantly – any number of experiential examples from your own life…

Because, if you are doing what it is that you maintain you are doing (Working, that is), then you will obviously, in fact, be tripping over all these personal experiences of yours. … Won’t you? 🙂

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There are a number of Eugene Hallidays concepts that I believe are essential for you to actively engage with, if you want to Work in the way in which I believe he suggested. Here are a couple of them:

  • A ‘Theory of everything’ (TOE) – In his case:- ‘All that there is, is sentient power’.
  • This ‘Sentient Power’ is working for the development in its potential through all being.
  • His insistence that one needs an ‘active language’ in order to move forward
  • Metaphor(s) of the conflicts that are existentially experienced, using this active language, when Working with opposing ideas
  • His use of – what he refers to as – ‘The dialectic’.

The overwhelming number of those subjects that are contained in his many talks and writings, are not necessarily essential for any attempts at Working. These subjects include, but are not restricted to, the works of Jacob Boehme; Tarot; Astrology; Shakespeare; Blake; Yoga; Magic; Egyptology. (etc).

And you can actually waste a great deal of your valuable time here, because you are almost certain to be superbly entertained by listening to, and perhaps pondering over, much of this stuff…

More importantly though, you will almost certainly come to believe that you, as a consequence of doing so, actually now know something of importance in all of this. When it is almost certain to be the case that exactly the opposite has, in fact, taken place…

Here’s a little secret. 🙂 The real value for you, in your attending to those talks and writings of Eugene Halliday’s – when it comes to your attempts at Working – isn’t in their subject matter… It’s in the subsequent in-depth understanding by you, of why it was that you believed this particular material was actually necessary to all of this for you … At all! … In the first place.

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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 1935

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How am I going to go about this next bit?….

Summarizing has always – for me at least – proved to be an extremely difficult task.

I’d even go as far as to say that, in most cases at least, I find it next to impossible.

So I’ve nicked the following quote from Irish writer, Anthony Cronin (modifying it somewhat in the process, with my ‘contribution’ to it here in italics), primarily because I believe that it does the job far better than I ever could…

Make of it what you will …

However, if you do manage to ‘get it’, then hopefully you will now understand the direction I’ve attempted to follow over the course of these twenty-four or so blog posts of mine .. It’s an extremely telling fragment in my opinion, particularly the first paragraph – where it illuminates my view of ‘Working’ with Eugene Halliday’s ideas, and is not a million miles away from my view of the man himself either 🙂

Up to this point he had, like others, struggled to be knowing; indeed the ‘knowingness’ of his early writings is one of their most obvious characteristics. And besides this attempt at knowledgeability, there had been the struggle by him to do what the writer here is expected to do, to describe a world which would be a realistic simulacrum of the world about him. In other words, he had attempted to be creative in the wrong sense.

But according to the revelation that he now had, instead of writing about that exterior world he should have written about his own inner world, with its darkness, its ignorance, its uncertainty. The omnipotent, sly and sophisticated narrator of much of his previous works was pretending to knowledge, experiences and abilities that inside himself he knew he did not have. Their creator then, had tried to conceal that inner ignorance and darkness which could in reality have been his greatest strength.

Now he resolved that he would let it prevail. From that point on he would attempt to abandon pretense of any kind … a total renunciation of all certainties including philosophical certainties of any kind, and there would instead be a reiteration of, or an acknowledgment of, his ignorance. The restitution to their rightful place in his work then of the uncertainties and confusions of which his life is made up.

The mode for such a reiteration and restitution would be the only possible one: first person monologue.

From page 359 of ‘Samuel Beckett – The Last Modernist’
by Anthony Cronin.
Published by Flamingo 1997.

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Over lunch he expatiated on his own theme of the impossibility of knowing. “The crisis started at the end of the eighteenth century… They give reason a responsibility which it simply can’t bear, it’s too weak.” … Staring down at his plate he continued, “Leonardo da Vinci still had everything in his head, still knew everything.. But now!” .. Then, looking up with a smile that was between bitterness and resignation, he continued, “Now it’s no longer possible to know everything. The tie between the Self and Things no longer exists. One must make a world of one’s own in order to satisfy one’s need to know. to understand one’s need for order.” Almost on a more cheerful note, he concluded, “There, for me, is the value of the Theater. One turns out a small world with its own laws…

From pages 557 and 558 of ‘Samuel Beckett – The Last Modernist’
by Anthony Cronin.
Published by Flamingo 1997.

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I have no doubt at all that what you should do is learn that ‘information comes before illumination’. … (P)eople are only uncertain, feel uncertain, and suffer from confusion when, and only when, they really do not want to learn. The part that is resisting the learning provides the confusion, etc. The secondary self which is what people interpose between themselves and knowledge, the bundle of subjective and conditioned responses, resists truth.

From ‘The Commanding Self’  page 81.
by Idris Shah.
Published by Octagon Press 1994

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Q. Why do real Sufis not teach meditation and other spiritual practices as a matter of course? Surely everyone can benefit from them?

A. For the same reason good gardeners do not plant productive crops among, or on top of, weeds. –

From ‘The Commanding Self’  page 85.
by Idris Shah.
Published by Octagon Press 1994

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“… So the devil is a devourer; understanding is likewise a devourer. Understanding swallows you up .. … In wanting to understand, ethical and human as it sounds, there lurks the devil’s will… Understanding is a fearfully binding power, at times a veritable murderer of the soul as soon as it flattens out vitally important differences. At the core of the individual is the mystery of life, which is snuffed out when it is ‘grasped’.”

From C G Jung Letters Vol 1 page 31
(In letter to Hans Schmid – 6th Nov. 1915)

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 When fighting against anything whatsoever we have to start out from the evil to be combated, never from the misfortune produced..

From ‘No Pity For Sarajevo’
by J Baudrillard

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And one from Samuel Beckett himself. This short fragment, from my perspective, summarizes how I see almost everyone I’ve ever met who claims to, “Have Worked,” or “Is Working,” with Eugene Halliday’s ideas. Which of course means that the overwhelming majority of those who read this quote probably won’t get it. But then, if it helps, from my perspective almost everyone who has written about Beckett himself doesn’t get it either :-)…

Anyway here ’tis 🙂

Watt had watched people smile and thought he understood how it was done

Samuel Beckett, Watt.

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If you forced me to issue only one piece of advice, it would probably be this. “Whatever the situation is that you have presently landed yourself in – particularly a situation in which you’ve been told beforehand there will be, “Someone there who has ‘all the answers’,” make absolutely sure that you obtain clear and succinct directions to the nearest exit before you enter. And I would also add, “And you should also be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.”

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Through the course of your life you will often come across those who, when discussing with you some socially reprehensible mode of behavior ‘out there’, go on to exclaim something to the effect that, “Oh dear me! No! … I don’t (or, “I would never,”) do that sort of thing!” – usually with a sanctimonious smirk on their faces…

And you cannot help but gain the impression that this is something that they believe they really ‘do’ (or ‘don’t do’)..

When in fact these situations are, almost certainly, something that they have no experience of …

Let’s face it, we are all (including even me) provided with a ‘good side’ – no matter how small; as well as all those impulses, patterns of behavior, and imaginings, that we would prefer to do without – in our ‘finer’ moments – that is.

In fact, it is only when you see someone struggling with their negative side, that you can be reasonably sure that there is, in fact, really anyone there attempting to ‘doing something’ at all…. Regrettably, and for most of the time, it is far more probable that, in fact, there is ‘no one at home’, that there is ‘no one minding the store’, at all.

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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Much of what I now view as being ‘OK for me’, only came about as the result of a great deal of pondering over the material contained in Eugene Halliday’s many talks and writings. So then, I obviously – during this same period – came to view some of this material of his as ‘not being OK for me’.

Claiming that something or someone has become, or has not become, an influence in my life does – I maintain – involve a considerable amount of Work. At least it does on my part.

But equally I would not claim that someone had not been an influence on my life if I hadn’t, first of all, done them the courtesy of investigating their work beforehand. And if I hadn’t done this investigating? Well then I would simply say, “Sorry, but I’m not familiar with their work.”

 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 an important concept I hold to that isn’t (obviously) influenced by the ideas of Eugene Halliday. But might rather be seen as having been strongly influenced by the ideas of Martin Heidegger… (However I really couldn’t confirm today if that were actually the case)… Here it is anyway.

The world that we individually live in, is our own particular ‘world of meaning’, and it comes to be (or – as Heidegger might have put it – is an ‘allowing to presence’) as a consequence of my intentions here.

It is a world that I also – by and large – have come to take for granted.

It will not be the same world as your world – or anyone else’s world for that matter…

The things that interest me will appear predominantly in it, with everything else being (normally) ‘in the background’ or even hidden. Unless (for example) something ‘in this background’ begins to assume what I experience as, say, a threat to myself. In which case this particular aspect of it will then ‘enter my world’.

The manner in which I have proceeded through my life using my own particular system of Working is seen by more that a few others to be unnecessarily ‘aggressive’ or ‘confrontational’ … But I would claim that it is neither of these. Rather, this is my ritualistic way  of ‘opening up’ to the world – particularly when, far more often than not, I strongly experience a reactive opposition here and would prefer not to ‘open up’ at all! ..

If you are Working yourself, then what I am describing here will probably be reasonably obvious to you… And if you’re not Working?… Then you will simply arrive at any number of opinions about what it is I’ve been writing about here. Which will reveal far about who it is that you imagine you are, than who it is that you imagine I am.

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When you tell me that something ‘means’ something to you, you are speaking about yourself. On the other hand, when you supply me with a ‘definition’, you are relying on a social and/or cultural consensus – something gleaned from your favorite dictionary usually and so, in a sense, this ‘definition’ is ‘imposed’ on this ‘here and now’ moment.

My ‘meaning’ can never completely become your ‘meaning’.

However we can at least agree on those ‘definitions’ of ours. And if we wish, we can even go on to produce our own dictionaries of these definitions (in which case this would obviously function more like a personal lexicon). But it might come to be that this lexicon of ours becomes the standard for significant numbers of other people, in which case it can then function as a dictionary.

Our ‘meanings’ though, can only ever ‘resonate’ with the others. But even if they manage to do this, it may often only be a limited temporal phenomena  – particularly if we do not share an intimate relationship.

If however, we do happen to share an intimate relationship, then we will together, almost certainly (and in our separativity) come to possess many congruent ‘meanings’ . ‘Meanings’ that have come ‘to be’ between us. And quite possibly a number of these will endure over long periods of time – maybe even for our life-times.

It is this sharing here, that is at the root of all empathy. 

It is my experience(s) though, that inevitably transforms my meanings’.

‘Definitions’, on the other hand, will (or should at least) only ever change by agreement. However the production of definitions are often sequestered by temporal power structures during any particular eon (think of the imposition on the general public of the term ‘political correct’) in order to serve the ends of those who are situated, or are desperate to climb, higher up the pecking order.

The motive for this appropriation is, of course, the acquisition of yet more temporal power by those who succeed in reaching the apex of that particular hierarchical triangle that happens to be in place during that particular eon. And in fact this particular form of appropriation is the only single essential component of these power triangles – and by which all other aspect of the control of their power proceeds from them. Positively, these definitions are at the root of  our ideas concerning our ‘compassion’.

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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Bob Hardy

Portland OR

26th January, 2019

 
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