The Elect and Motive-consideration

-an excerpt from the teachings of Eugene Halliday.


What is the special test by which the elect avoid being deceived? If a thing is in the realm of phenomena, that is, the realm of appearances, it is to be placed under suspicion. An appearance is the result of the action of certain forces upon our sense organs. It is a product of energy encounters in which outer and inner factors interact. The external world-forces act upon the energy-complex which constitutes our being. What arises in our consciousness is what we call “phenomena”, and “appearance”. But there is something that is never shown in a phenomenon, and this something is of the highest importance.

A phenomenon or appearance has a form, a shape by which we know it to be itself and not another phenomenon. This shape may be visual, a form perceptible by the eye; or it may be audible, recognised by the ear; or tactile, known by the sense of touch, which tells us whether a thing is rough or smooth, hard or soft, etc.; or something known by the sense of taste, sweet, sour, salt, bitter; or something known to our sense of smell, pleasant or unpleasant. But all these are the product of an energy stimulus acting on a sense organ, and the interaction of these two patterns of energies is so complex that we cannot in the instant of perception know all the factors involved in it. Because of this, we are forced to accept what we perceive as to some degree reliable. If we did not accept phenomena as reliable, we could not profitably react to them. Because of our need for order, we accept phenomena as trust-worthy to some degree. If we did not, we would live as in chaos, distrusting every appearance, unable to take anything seriously. But although we, for order’s sake, need to take phenomena as to some degree reliable, we cannot give to them an absolute belief. Why not? Every phenomenon, to be profitable to us, must be interpreted. If we see a cloud in the sky, we have to decide whether it is the kind of cloud that signifies the coming of fair weather or foul. Without interpretation, every phenomenon is meaningless. A great storm may sink a ship. We have to decide whether this sinking is good or bad. In war-time we want to know whether the ship is one of ours, or one of our enemy’s. At all times we are busy interpreting appearances. Without interpretations we cannot live an orderly life, cannot adjust to the world of appearances, cannot profit from our experiences. But, as we have said, there is something of the highest importance that appearances cannot give to us. This something is motive.

The motive for any act we do, or our intention in doing it, never becomes an external phenomenon, never shows itself as an outer appearance. A man selling a car or refrigerator or any other thing, may smile, but his smile does not tell us his motive in smiling. He may genuinely wish to supply us with something good and useful, or he may simply desire to unload something at a price that might help his survival. Similarly with all the achievements of science and high tech. Rocketing to the moon might be the result of mere human curiosity; or it might be to search for a new source of mineral wealth, to help us when our earth supplies run out; or it might be to set up a good safe observation post from which to observe the Armageddon by television, without being too involved in its worst aspects; or for any other of several reasons.

Whatever the motive or intention behind anyone’s action, the motive does not show itself as an external phenomenon. Motives or intentions are contained in the soul’s deepest depths. They become part-cause of the phenomena which appear in our consciousness by interacting with forces which come to us from outside our organism, and from within it. We decide how to view the stimuli we receive according to our innermost motives.

By our intentions to improve or worsen our situation, we interpret whatever comes to us.

Phenomena or appearances are mere patterned plays of energies until we decide to interpret them. Nothing of itself is good or evil until we think of it in relation to our motives or intentions. We say a thing is good for the fulfilment of some purpose, or bad for that purpose. Good and bad are relative to the fulfilment of our intentions.

When very intelligent persons view any phenomena, they observe them sharply so that their forms or characteristics are made very clear to consciousness, and their modes of interaction noted. By such observations knowledge of causes and effects is gained, and adjustment to the realities of the world is made easier. But behind all the things that we see, no matter how much we may come to know about them, it is not what they are that is of most importance, but how we respond to them. Our motives in responding to the things of the world are more important for us than are the things themselves.

Of course, without the things we would have nothing to respond to, but the things’ importance, such as we see them to be, consists merely in their providing us with occasions to exercise our capacity for choice. This capacity is the essential of our humanness. We are human precisely because of our ability to choose between alternatives. To lose this ability would be to lose our essential humanity.

But in an act of choice there must be a motive, an intention, an aim or goal. An act of choice is motivated by a purpose which the Will intends to fulfil. But in each instance the Will’s purpose never becomes a manifest object. One person’s Will cannot be exhibited to another person in such a way that there can be no doubt about it. The Will itself is not an object. We cannot see, hear, touch, taste or smell a Will. In the realm of philosophy the Will is the most mysterious of all concepts that may be presented to us. “Will” refers to Initiative, to prime causative power, which of itself transcends all formal representational possibilities, yet is wholly responsible for them. Will in man is a spark of original divine causal power.

It is not by his intellectual or rational ability that man is worthy of the title, “son of God”, although some intellectuals have thought so. Man is justly called a child of God only when he is acting from his free will, his power of free choice, whereby what he does is not a product of forces beyond his control. Man, from his spark of inner divinity, is not conditioned from forces outside himself, nor from memories of his past reactions to such forces. Divine man has risen above all alien forces. His actions are the results of nothing other than his own power of immediate free choice. In this is man’s supreme dignity. The elect know this, and so cannot be deceived.

However marvellous may become the phenomena produced by ever advancing science, whatever distant galaxies of stars may be penetrated by spaceships, whatever wondrous inventions may be brought into existence to fill previously void spaces in cosmos, the elect will always confront the inventors with the supreme question, “What is your will in all this display?” Beyond all the brilliant displays, the fireworks and razzmatazz of scientifically produced phenomena the elect will always ask, “What is the intention behind all this?”

The elect will say, “Very marvellous, very accomplished, very interesting indeed, but why have you produced such phenomena? What do you hope to accomplish by them? What is your intention? What finally is your Will?”

If the inventors say, “To make them dependent on us; to make the masses worship and adore us; to make them subservient to our Will; then the elect will say, “Wrong motive!”

Lucifer himself had precisely this motive, this intention, when he willed to become brighter than his Creator had made him. He willed not merely to astonish other angels by his increased brilliance, but to subordinate them absolutely to his Will. He had not seen the hidden contradiction in his contradiction of God’s Will for him and for all other creatures.

For millions of creatures life is full of difficulties, crammed with incomprehensible phenomena. For the elect, life is simple. It consists in possession of right motive, that is, good will. Whatever we may do, and whatever the results of our actions, neither our doings nor their results are of supreme importance. Only our Will, our motive, our intention, finally moulds our soul into the form that it shall have to present to God. Our goals or aims model our soul. They are what our Will sets for itself as its target; and what Will wills, it finally becomes. The Will projects itself in its purposes, and identifies itself with its projections, forms itself in their form, and finally must confront itself as it has formed itself. A horrible rapacious Will builds into itself the forms of its own rapacity, and so exhibits itself to itself. At the last judgement it needs no outer judge; it is sufficient for it to see in itself its own handiwork. Oscar Wilde said. “It isn’t what you do, its what you become in doing it”. Our actions mould the form, not only of our physical body but also of our soul. And our soul’s hidden inner motives, which we never dare to exhibit to our fellows in the outer world, mould our soul into their correspondent forms within the very substance of the soul. Our worst motives we try to hide, even from ourselves. This is how we create the so-called unconscious realm of our mind. If we were suddenly to see how these hidden motives had moulded our soul we would be horrified. We could not bear the shock of coming face to face with what we have made of ourselves. This is why psycho-analysis can take such a long time. A million little shocks spread over a long period of time we may be able to endure. But the total energy of all these shocks given in a single instant would be too much for us to assimilate. Receiving this without long preparation and education, we would simply disintegrate, fall apart, become again physically the dust of the earth from which our bodies were assembled, and our soul would lose the one supreme concept, which had so far held it together, the concept of itself as a God-given Unity of Will.

If we identify with many different things, and these things, from whatever causes, disintegrate, then we are in danger of suffering a like disintegration of our soul. Only if we remember with full concentration that our soul is fundamentally a Will-to-be, can we resist dismemberment.

Coherence of our ideas allows us to refer to a unific pattern in our consciousness. This gives us a sense of inner security; we feel at one with ourself. It is this at-one-ness that is the meaning of “atonement“. Atonement is at-one-ment. It arises in our soul when our ideas, words, feelings and deeds do not contradict each other, but fit together in perfect harmony. It is this harmony in the soul that is referred to when we talk about the integration of the personality . The whole of our inner psychological balance depends upon such integration.

Without harmonious integration of the elements in our consciousness we are in a state of inner self-contradiction, and therefore of discomfort. If the discomfort reaches a too high intensity we say that we cannot bear it. We might even say that it feels “hellish”. Any excessive inner self-contradiction is felt as an inner war in which the different forces continually attack each other. To be in such a state of unbearable self-contradiction is the meaning of being in hell. Whether in this present life, or in the life beyond death, the degree of freedom from inner self-contradiction is the degree to which we are not in hell. The nearer we are to perfect inner harmony, the nearer we are to heaven.

To escape from hell we have to release our self from inner self-contradiction. To do this we must return to our original unity of Will. We must see that all our thoughts, words and deeds, no matter how numerous or disintegrated they may be, are all products of our Will. We have but to return consciously to our Will to contact our original Unity, and so gain release from all hellish conditions.

It was precisely to enlighten and inform souls imprisoned in self-contradiction that Jesus after his death descended into “hell”. There he taught the suffering souls that they could abandon their self-contradictions by simply returning to the original Will’s unity and from here begin a new life. To return to the unific will that subsists in the soul’s deepest depths is to return to the divine spark within us, and it is from this spark that all fresh starts are originated.