Falling and Rising – Intelligence, Intuition, Meditation, Contemplation
excerpts from the teachings of Eugene Halliday
Our own intelligence is a little light borrowed from the Great Alpha-light [infinite intelligence]. Our own body is a little zone within the Omega-Substance [Universal body substance]. When we think truly, our thought is an inner shining in our mind of the Alpha-light. When we move our body to act rightly, our action is the action of our own little area of the divine Cosmic Body. When we feel sincerely, our feeling is the Self-experience within us of the pure Alpha-Light-Omega-Body, at work in the place where we are.
Yet we are not passive instruments. From the power of infinite intelligence within us we can choose our life-direction. We can choose to act as an instrument of infinite intelligence, in infinite intelligence’s name, or we can choose to act as if we owed nothing to infinite intelligence.
We can choose to believe ourselves self-generated, and act only for our self-advantage. To believe is to choose. We do not simply believe, as if we had no alternative but to believe. Belief is an act of our will. We think we see an advantage in believing this or that, and so believe.
As we choose to believe, so we choose to evolve, or devolve. We can move nearer to the ultimate goal of absolute freedom, or we can move away from it towards deepening degrees of bondage.
Does anyone really choose bondage rather than freedom? Yes. Why? because freedom implies self-responsibility. The free being is responsible for himself, and responsible for his degree of freedom in infinite intelligence’s presence.
Where we are not yet perfectly free in our will, it is because we have not yet willed perfect freedom, because we have not yet willed our total self-responsibility. Total self-responsibility seems to the ego-bound mind a tremendous burden. One with such responsibility has no excuse for his actions. His actions are the expression of his free-will. The effects of his actions must by cosmic law return to him.
Which one of us is ready happily to receive from the universe the reactions of all the beings affected by our actions? The burden is very great, “As we sow, so shall we reap”. This is a hard saying. How many of us are prepared to accept with equanimity the fruits of our actions?
Dodging consequences is a favourite game of human beings. To be able to “get away with it” is popularly considered to be a sign of superior intelligence. But is it really so? Does not real superior intelligence assent to the idea that it is only right and just that we some day come face to face with the consequences of our actions?
What kind of a world would it be if every action produced no reaction? How could we possibly know where we were up to with ourselves, how far we had gone in our evolution towards the goal?
We would shoot our energies into the world, and they would not produce any effect, either on the things of the world or on ourselves. It would be as if we shot our arrows into a pure void, and never ever received back a message that our arrows had been loosed. Such a world would be no world at all in any meaningful way.
There is, however, something about us human beings. We love to think our lives are meaningful. If we think our lives meaningless, we become disorientated, dejected, miserable. Despair begins to wrap us round as an impenetrable mist or fog. We have lost direction. We are goalless and so cannot evolve.
All evolution depends on a goal, whether this goal is adequately defined or not.
The mineral world’s goal seems to be simply to exist. The rocks press into their centre simply to perpetuate themselves. The plant world’s goal is not mere existence, but with this also growth and self-propagation.
The animal world’s goal is to exist, to grow, to propagate and move about in the space available.
The human world’s goal is to add to all these processes a new principle: that of free creative activity, an activity that will change the world and everything in it. “Behold I make all things new”. And this changing of the world by mankind is to restore to it something precious that was lost long ago; the joy of supreme creativity such as infinite intelligence takes delight in.
The kind of men Jesus called “dead“, are those who have lost contact with the inner creativity of the infinite intelligence within their own being, the divine Spirit of Eternity. To lose this contact is to fall into Time and Matter, to become a slave to closed systems of repetitive, uncreative behaviour. The
“dead” are on a treadmill whereon every foot set down leads nowhere. The wheel turns, but the treader of the wheel stays where he is.
The man on the treadmill is the unhappiest of all creatures. Unlike the ox which has been put to work by man and has no thought that things should be other than they are, the human being knows that his life should have more meaning than that of endless circular plodding continued until death gives release.
Man is not content to live a meaningless life. For him activity without meaning is not real living. Something in the human soul says that life has a higher purpose than the tread-mill provides, and this something is Spirit, infinite intelligence.
The pet mouse of a child is usually kept in a little cage. Inside the cage is a small wheel into which the mouse can climb. When the mouse runs, the wheel turns. The mouse stays where it is in the wheel and its running feet drive the wheel round. The mouse does not get anywhere; it simply drives the wheel round and round. No doubt this is good exercise for the mouse’s muscles, and helps to keep it fit; but the mouse learns nothing new after the first few revolutions.
In the ancient world, and still today in some countries, oxen are used to turn wheels that perhaps draw water or grind corn, or do some other useful work. Here the oxen are doing something better than merely exercise their muscles; they are freeing mankind from a ceaseless, routine process and so liberating human energies for other, more creative activities.
In the Bible, Jesus distinguished between two kinds of human beings: the “quick” and the “dead”. By the “dead” he meant those of mankind whose processes were under the dominion of habitual routines of thought and feelings which produce no new emergents, no new creative attitudes towards the world. By the “quick”, Jesus meant those human beings whose minds ever perceive new possibilities, new ways of living, different from old routines.
The “dead” are those who have fallen into routine behaviour patterns, which, if persisted in, will produce nothing new in the world; those who walk like oxen, in the same circular path, treading over the same ground to no new effect: learning nothing new, gaining no new insights that might be profitable to their souls in a world changed by their own thought and feeling and will.
The “quick” are those whose minds are awake, whose senses are active, whose feelings are supersensitive to new possibilities, and whose will is strongly determined to reach a goal worthy of attainment. The “quick” are those who have faith in things worthwhile, beyond the present state of mankind.
We know that the “quick”, in every situation, seize the initiative. They perceive that new things are possible, different ways of life better than those so far known, and they work intensely and interestedly towards the precipitation of those new, improved ways.
We have all heard of a fall from a once-free state of man’s soul. The ancient sages told of a time called the “Golden Age”, when man had not yet lost his freedom, his grace; a time when man’s mind and senses and will had not yet fallen under the dominion of habitual routines. In the Golden Age, man was a being of initiative and intelligence, capable of free, creative activity, a being of destiny, whose purpose in the world was to change it, and raise it to ever higher levels of significance. Man was then the creative representative on earth of the Universal Being who had created the world for the very purpose of demonstrating the meaning of creativity itself.
Before the Fall, in the great Golden Age, man had been placed in charge of the further development of the world, and given the means to create, by his own will and intelligence and sensitivity, whatever was needful for that development. Man was to be infinite intelligence’s agent in the world, working there for the full realisation of God’s purpose.
But at the Fall, a curious thing happened. Man forgot his real purpose, forgot his essential free, creative will and intelligence, and became more interested in externals. He left his inmost creative centre and turned outwards into the external things of the world.
Thus he lost awareness of his initiative, his free spirit, and was trapped in the outer forms of things. He became like a man who was so interested in the pleasure he derived from having a body and using it to enjoy the things of the world that he forgot his creative purpose in the world, and so sought only to give pleasure to himself by means of his body. Thus forgetting, he descended into a materialistic view of the world.
The Materialist is a man who thinks that the things of the world are the source of his ideas and feelings. He thinks that there is nothing in his mind except the results of the stimulation of his sense organs by external things, and so he abandons his innermost centre of creativity and places himself under the dominion of things of Matter. He becomes a slave to information given to him from things of the external world. He believes that he cannot change anything except by first studying the way that external material things work. He thinks that his thoughts, his ideas, feelings and actions, are all products of the action of material things upon his body. He reduces himself thereby to the level of a merely reactive material thing, complex no doubt, as is the physical body of man, but nevertheless material, and subject to the laws that govern all material bodies. Like Esau, he has sold his birthright, his free spirit, for a mess of potage.
Before the Fall, Man could have fulfilled his destiny by using his free, creative intelligence to change the world in ever more significant and valuable directions. He could have evolved to ever higher levels of being without having to depend on external material things for the sources of his information. Within Man is a special power, God-given, a power of intuition, of inner self-teaching, whereby he can gain supreme knowledge of everything in the universe, without all the drudgery of examining all the material things of the outer world.
This intuition, or inner self-teaching power, is set in motion by the practice of meditation and contemplation. Every great thinker of history has known and used these practices in order to conjure from the depths of his innermost soul the hidden wisdom that awaits there for the one who seeks and asks and knocks on the inner secret door.
Before the Fall, Man, by his intuition, awakened by his own initiative in acts of meditation and contemplation, could have designed and created an infinity of new worlds, more wonderful by far than this world in which we now live. This was the period of Creative Evolution, which at the Fall ceased. From the moment of the Fall Man lost his innermost awareness of his essential creativity, and became from then on dependent on things outside him to awaken his mind and stir his intelligence.
If some special act of grace had not occurred, fallen man would have been doomed forever to slavery to external things and their action upon him. He would have become a merely reactive mechanism, totally determined in his behaviour by the chance stimuli of external things. But the needed special act was done.
The intelligence of all beings has a source. The source is not inferior to the things that come from it. “Nothing goes up but that which came down”. The source of intelligence is more intelligent than its derivatives. The source of all beings is the infinite field of absolute sentient power, or God if we use a shorthand term. This infinite field is more intelligent than any of the creatures created within it. This infinite field is also within us essentially. It is the voice of cosmic conscience. If we will listen to it, it is the power which will save us from our own foolish mistakes. But to be saved by it, we must listen to it. It is a still small voice, ever speaking within our soul.
Today almost everyone believes in evolution of lower forms of life to higher forms. Materialist scientists tend to teach that this evolution is largely a product of accidents, by which some forms come to have more survival probability than others. But there is more to the evolutionary process than this. Whatever “accidents” may have happened in the past, or are happening now, or may happen in the future, there is more than accident at work putting men into outer space, more than accident probing beyond the orbits of the outer planets of our solar system, more than accident penetrating into the deepest secrets of the atom, where so-called “matter” melts away into fields of force, where the apparent division of body and mind, material and spiritual reality, become indistinguishable.
Today we are approaching nearer and nearer to disclosing the true relationship of mind and body, of spirit and matter. The old naive notion that matter was made of irreducible, hard particles or “atoms”, has gone. Nuclear research has shown us that matter is but a form of energy. The old division of mind and matter as two utterly dissimilar things has had to be given up. Mind and Matter are two aspects of energy, two modes of behaviour of a hidden something that operates behind both. This hidden something is what we mean by “Spirit”.
The difficulty in understanding “Spirit” is that it is invisible and intangible. We cannot see it, and we cannot touch it with our material hands. But its invisibility and intangibility do not prove it non-existent. We cannot see or touch a magnetic field, but it gives evidence of its presence by the way it moves needles on dials, or moves iron-filings about, or pulls the opposite poles of two magnets together, or forces the like poles apart.
So it is with the invisible, intangible spirit. It can move our souls to feel and think and act, and this without the mediation of any gross external material things to aid it.