The Theory Of Celestial Influence
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The Theory Of Celestial Influence

Man, The Universe, and Cosmic Mystery

Rodney Collin

  1. 410 pagine
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

The Theory Of Celestial Influence

Man, The Universe, and Cosmic Mystery

Rodney Collin

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Indice dei contenuti
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Originally published in 1954, The Theory of Celestial Influence is an exploration of the universe and man's place in it. Drawing extensively on the teachings of Russian mathematician and esotericist P. D. Ouspensky and Greek-Armenian Esoteric doctrine teacher George Gurdjieff, author Rodney Collins examines 20th century scientific discoveries and attempts to unite astronomy, physics, chemistry, human physiology and world history with his own version of planetary influences. He concludes that the driving force behind everything is neither procreation nor survival, but expansion of awareness. Collin sets out to reconcile the considerable contradictions of the rational and imaginative minds and of the ways we see the external world versus our inner selves.

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Informazioni

Anno
2016
ISBN
9781787200753

XIV—HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY

I—PERSONALITY, ESSENCE AND SOUL

THE WHOLE OF THE RHYTHMIC SCHEME AND TIME-PATTERN DISCUSSED in the earlier chapters on man refers, of course, to normal or rather to archetypal man. It presumes the different organs all set to an equal sensitivity, so that the various planetary influences will be received and take effect in their just harmony and proportion. In fact no individual man will perfectly reflect such a harmony, for in the men we know some glands are of a supernormal and others of a subnormal sensitivity. The descriptions of endocrine or planetary types which were given were an attempt to describe the effect of a supernormal sensitivity of one gland or receiving apparatus. A perfectly harmonized man, in whom all the planetary influences were balanced, and none absent or exaggerated, can hardly be conceived except as the result of a great work of self-perfection.
Accepting the principle of varying sensitivity in the different glands or receiving apparatus, we see how all the complexities and abnormalities of human form and age can arise. Suppose Mars to emanate certain influences which stimulate the adrenal and sex functions, while Venus, influencing the parathyroids and thymus, tends to promote physical growth and hold back sexual differentiation. If the two receiving-organs are equally sensitive the planetary motions themselves ensure that the martial influence eclipses the other at the age of 15, producing puberty. But suppose the receiving-organ for martial influence to be exceptionally sensitive, and that tuned to the venusian radiation insensitive, then the first will naturally eclipse the second much earlier, and puberty may not occur at 15 but at 13 or even 12.
Whole races indeed, are no doubt structurally more attuned to one planet than others, and thus have their own ‘normality’ of time, deviating more or less from the prescribed ‘normality’ for humanity. Further, such people or races will be most acutely aware of the rhythm of ‘their’ planet, and will find it difficult to understand manifestations arising from other people’s awareness of quite different rhythms.
Further light is shed on the problem by certain pathological cases, such for example as those in which a tumour on the pineal gland produces premature senility, a boy of eight acquiring the wizened appearance of an old man of eighty.
In the cases mentioned above we considered the effect of the various glands ‘set’ at differing degrees of sensitivity. Here on the other hand, we seem to see the gland itself, owing to pathological stimulus, increase fantastically in receptivity. Imagine a radio-set of fixed sensitivity tuned tea single wavelength, its volume will vary with the output and distance of the transmitting station. This is the normal case. But suppose the radio-set to become suddenly more responsive, it will begin to ‘blare’ and drown out the other sets in the neighbourhood, though the power of the transmitting station remain constant or even diminish. If the pineal gland is sensitive to the influence of a certain planet, which, working in its long slow cycle, controls the gradual aging of the human organism, then a sudden abnormal stimulus to this gland may make it unnaturally responsive to this aging influence until the latter, by sheer volume, drowns out all moderating influences from elsewhere.
In their extreme forms these two kinds of aberration—a pathological responsiveness or unresponsiveness of some gland, and a pathological variation in its working—account for all the congenital and organic abnormalities which we may meet. In these cases the very mechanism of the man is badly damaged, perhaps beyond repair. And it cannot be avoided that all the psychic life arising from such a mechanism will also be warped and unbalanced.
There is, however, a different kind of abnormality, very much more common, which is found in more or less healthy mechanisms. This abnormality, which gives rise to the whole gamut of human psychiatry and to a very large proportion of the thoughts and feelings of all ordinary people, must now be dealt with.
Earlier on we came to the conclusion that the proportion of the different endocrine secretions borne in suspension in the blood at any moment make a man what he then is. His state is the resultant of all the impulses which these energies separately dictate. Impulses to study, to seek company, to restless movement, to make love, mixing in him in different intensities, produce the colour and mood of the present. This is what is called his psychology.
But let us go further, and try to imagine as a single entity a man’s bloodstream throughout his whole life, all the blood that has passed through him from conception to death. Blood begins to flow through him at the very moment when the impregnated ovum attaches itself to the maternal uterus: it does not cease to do so until his heart stops beating. This ‘long’ bloodstream is a web joining every part of the circle of his life which we drew out in Chapter II. In every moment, the composition of the bloodstream dictates his mood; the totality of his life-blood, bearing the final sum of the influences that have contributed to his being, is the man. It represents his true nature, what he objectively is, his essence.
The trouble is that no one knows what this sum is. No one knows himself objectively. No one can analyse the higher chemistry of his blood and honestly assess himself accordingly. This would already be a tremendous achievement: and the man who knew his essence would be at an enormous advantage in the world.
In fact, what a man thinks about himself and his possibilities has very little to do with his actual physical chemistry. The man who by his natural structure and capacities would be a good and successful labourer feels that he is an unrecognized poet, even though he has never written a line of poetry. The born poet, on the other hand, feels that he would be really happy on a farm, though he has never spent more than a weekend out of the city. The studious bookworm sees himself as a potential Casanova, and so on. These are their dreams, and they see everything that happens to them and everybody they meet, partly in the light of their own essential nature, and partly through their dreams.
In order to support these dreams they have to take up a certain invented attitude to everything, different from that dictated by their blood, their essence, what they actually are. This invented attitude is taken by other people as their personality, and may even be much admired and sought after.
This, however, brings us to the idea of personality in a right and useful sense, from the Latin ‘persona’, a player’s mask, that through which the actor speaks. Right personality stands between the essence of man and the outside world. It is his psychological ‘skin’, his protection from life and means of adjusting to it. It includes all that he has learned about orientating his organism among his surroundings, the way he has learned to speak, think, walk, behave and so on, all his acquired habits and idiosyncrasies. Only in ordinary man this adaptation to life, this savoir faire which enables him to protect his inner life from unnecessary shocks and distractions, is so inextricably mixed with pretence and invented attitudes, that the two are quite inseparable. We have to take them as one phenomenon, as personality, which even at its best is something unreal, without material substance.
If we think of the circle of man’s life as a sphere, his essence is as it were the physical nature of the interior of the sphere, its consistency, density, chemical composition and so on. His personality then is something imaginary, which does not exist in the sphere at all. It has no thickness and no dimension. It comes solely from outside. It is like light from the surrounding world reflected off the sphere’s surface. We can even say that it is reflected only from one half of his life, one hemisphere, for before the age of two or three a child has no imagination about himself, no pretence, and is in fact nothing but essence.
We can gain further understanding of the nature of personality, when we realize that this light which he reflects is exactly what he does not absorb. What is most obvious about a man is what he rejects and the particular manner in which he rejects it. He is recognised by what he does not yet understand, by that which separates him from the rest. This is his personality. When he really understands and absorbs something, it enters into him and becomes part of his essence. It is then no longer apparent to others as his personality—it is he, and he is it. The separateness characteristic of personality has disappeared.
The same idea can be put in a different way. A man takes in food. But a long digestive process goes on before this food is sufficiently refined to enter his bloodstream and thus become inseparably absorbed into his organism. Until this happens the food is not part of him, he may even be sick and lose it altogether.
Similarly a man takes in experience. But a long digestive process goes on before this experience is understood and mastered to the point where it actually modifies his physical essence. This digestion of experience takes place in and through personality. And like food in process of digestion, experience or understanding which is only in personality may at any time be lost. Only when, by insistence and repetition, has it entered into essence does it become inalienably his. Personality is the organ of digestion for experience.
Now the fundamental abnormality or madness of men lies in the divergence between essence and personality. The more nearly a man knows himself for what he is, the nearer he approaches wisdom. The more his imagination about himself diverges from what he actually is, the madder he becomes. In the earlier part of this chapter we studied organic abnormalities. At that time we spoke, as it were, of sick donkeys and sick horses. Now we are considering the problem of perfectly healthy donkeys who think themselves horses, and perfectly healthy horses who think themselves donkeys. This is the subject of modern psychology.
There is, however, one possibility of healing this delusion. This is the potentiality which exists in man, of becoming conscious of his own existence and of his relation to the surrounding universe. For in the moment in which he is conscious of his existence, he knows what he is and what he is not—that is, he knows the difference between his essence and personality. In the same moment he also knows what is in him and what is outside of him—that is, he knows himself and his relation to the world.
Self-remembering, and self-remembering only, thus enables a man to shed the outer skin of personality, and to feel and act freely from his essence, that is, to be himself. In this way he may separate himself from the pretences and imitations which have enslaved him since childhood, and return to what he actually is, return to his own essential nature. Such return to essence is accompanied by a sense of freedom and liberation, unlike any other, and which may exactly supply the motive force required to attempt the quite new tasks which the freed man now sees to be necessary.
This famous theme of Ibsen’s ‘Peer Gynt’—“Man, to thyself be true”—is indeed the first and obligatory commandment on the way of consciousness and self-development. For unless a man first finds himself, finds his own essential nature and destiny, and begins from them, all his efforts and achievements will be built only on the sand of personality, and at the first serious shock the whole structure will crumble, perhaps destroying him in its fall.
In a man who is still developing, personality is the servant of essence. As soon as essence becomes the servant of personality, that is, as soon as a man’s natural strength and skill is made to serve his false picture of himself, inner growth ceases and in due course essence withers and becomes incapable of further growth. The only way in which this withering can be arrested and life restored to essence is by self-remembering, that is, by the deliberate cultivation of self-knowledge and self-consciousness.
What does this imply?
In the chapter on the functions of the different glands, we saw that they were connected and unified not only by the bloodstream, but potentially in a different way. They were connected in a different order by an unused part of the nervous system. The functioning of this new connection would bring with it the possibility of a man being aware of himself. Just as his subjective sensation of the bloodstream is a feeling of bodily warmth, so the subjective sensation of this nervous system, should it work fully, would be self-consciousness. This is the new function which, we hazarded, should enter into operation at the prime of life.
We said that man’s essence is the totality of his blood-stream, all the blood which flows through him from conception to death. We can now say that man’s soul is the totality of the moments of self-consciousness during his life, or all the superfine energy which has flowed through his unused nervous system.
But here we are in a difficulty because we have already admitted that such moments are excessively rare, a few in a year or maybe even in a lifetime. In the ordinary way a man is not conscious of his existence. Energy does not flow through this system at all. Further, the moments of self-consciousness which a man may experience in circumstances of great stress, great joy, pain, suffering, endurance or hardship, are in fact but moments, and are gone as soon as they come. So that even if we do add them up, they come to nothing, just as a score of points still have no measurable dimension.
What then has happened to man’s soul? We have no choice but to admit that ordinary man has not yet found a soul. It has to be created.
Psychology, by derivation, is the knowledge or wisdom of the soul. But if man has no soul, then nothing which today passes for psychology is psychology at all. Everything which goes by this name is really psychiatry, that is, the study of the illness of the soul or the conditions of the soul’s absence. True psychology is therefore the study of what does not yet exist; it is the study of the art of creating a soul.
We have spoken of essence, personality and soul. It is now possible to think of the relation of these different parts of man. The ‘world’ of an individual man finds itself surrounded by other worlds of similar scale, permeated by the smaller worlds of cells and molecules, and included within the greater worlds of Nature, the Earth, the Solar System, and so on. From these other worlds he receives nourishment in the form of food, air and perceptions of all kinds. We have already seen how the different periods of life, with their different media and different dominating functions, utilize nourishment which specially caters for one aspect of man or another. This referred especially to different aspects of his physical organism. Now the question arises of the growth of other parts of man than his body, that is, of his essence and his soul.
We just now said that when man really absorbs somethi...

Indice dei contenuti

  1. Title page
  2. TABLE OF CONTENTS
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. I-THE STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSE
  5. II-THE TIMES OF THE UNIVERSE
  6. III-THE SOLAR SYSTEM
  7. IV-SUN, PLANETS AND EARTH
  8. V-THE SUN
  9. VI-THE HARMONY OF THE PLANETS
  10. VII-THE ELEMENTS OF EARTH
  11. VIII-THE MOON
  12. IX-THE WORLD OF NATURE
  13. X-MAN AS MICROCOSM
  14. XI-MAN IN TIME
  15. XII-THE SIX PROCESSES IN MAN (i)
  16. XIII-THE SIX PROCESSES IN MAN (ii)
  17. XIV-HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY
  18. XV-THE SHAPE OF CIVILIZATION
  19. XVI-THE SEQUENCE OF CIVILIZATIONS
  20. XVII-THE CYCLES OF GROWTH AND WAR
  21. XVIII-THE CYCLES OF CRIME, HEALING AND CONQUEST
  22. XIX THE CYCLE OF SEX
  23. XX THE CYCLE OF REGENERATION
  24. XXI-MAN IN ETERNITY
  25. APPENDIX ONE-THE LOGICAL AND SUPER-LOGICAL MINDS IN SCIENTIFIC ILLUMINATION
  26. APPENDIX TWO-TABLE OF TIMES AND COSMOSES
  27. APPENDIX THREE-THE THEORY OF OCTAVES
  28. APPENDIX FOUR-PLANETARY TABLES
  29. APPENDIX FIVE-TABLE OF THE ELEMENTS
  30. APPENDIX SIX-TABLE OF HUMAN FUNCTIONS
  31. APPENDIX SEVEN-TABLE OF ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
  32. APPENDIX EIGHT-THE CYCLE OF CIVILIZATIONS
  33. APPENDIX NINE-PLANETARY CYCLES AND HUMAN ACTIVITY
  34. APPENDIX TEN-THE CYCLE OF WAR
  35. APPENDIX ELEVEN-RELATION BETWEEN THE JOVIAL AND SOLAR SYSTEMS
  36. APPENDIX TWELVE-THE CYCLE OF SEX
  37. APPENDIX THIRTEEN-THE CYCLE OF REGENERATION
  38. APPENDIX FOURTEEN-BIBLIOGRAPHY
  39. REQUEST FROM THE PUBLISHER