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July 30, 2005

Tertium Organum A Key To The Enigmas Of The World by P.D. Ouspensky

AUTHOR'S PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

IN revising Tertium Organum for the second edition in English my chief concern has been to coördinate its terminology with the more developed terminology of those of my books written after the publication of the second Russian edition of Tertium Organum, from which the English translation was made.


Such a unity of terminology is the more necessary because I am obliged to lead the reader into regions of thought and knowledge where boundaries have not been clearly established, and where different authors--and often one and the same author, in different works and during different periods of his activity--have called the same thing by different names, or different things by the same name.


It must be admitted that language is a weak and inadequate vehicle even for the expression of our usual understanding of things, to say nothing of those moments when the understanding unexpectedly expands and becomes deeper, and we see revealed an entire series of facts and relations for the description of which we have neither words nor expressions. But quite aside from this, in ordinary conditions of thinking and feeling, we are frequently at a loss for words, and we use one word at different times to describe different things.


On the other hand, it is no merit in an author to invent new words, or to use old words in new meanings which have nothing in common with the accepted ones--to create, in other words, a special terminology. I have always considered that it is necessary to write in the language which men commonly speak, and I have endeavored to do this, although in some cases it has been necessary to make some additions to and corrections of that language for the sake of exactness and lucidity.


In due time I shall separately consider the subject of language and the methods of its adaptation for the transmission of exact thought. For the present I have reference only to the language of Tertium Organum.


p. xiv

The first word demanding a more careful use is "consciousness."


In conversational language and in every-day psychology, even in psychology purporting to be scientific, the word consciousness is often used as a term for the designation of a complex of all psychic functions in general, or for their separate manifestations. At present I have not access to the necessary books--I abandoned them all in Petrograd, four years ago--but to the best of my recollection Prof. William James defined thought as "a moment of consciousness."


From my standpoint, which I shall elucidate in works now being prepared for the press, it is necessary to regard consciousness as distinct from the commonly understood psychic functions: thought, feeling and sensation. Over and above all this, consciousness has several exactly definable forms or phases, in each one of which thoughts, feelings and sensations can function, giving in each different results. Thus consciousness (be it this or something other) is a background upon which thoughts, feelings and sensations reveal themselves. This background can be more or less bright. But as thoughts, feelings and sensations have their own separate life, and can be regarded independently of this background, so can it be regarded and studied independently of them. For the present I shall not insist too strongly upon the idea of this ground as something separate in its substance from psychic functions. The practical result is the same if we say that thoughts, feelings and sensations may have a different character, and that thoughts, feelings and sensations of this or that character create this or that state of consciousness. It is important only to establish the fact that thoughts, feelings and sensations, i.e., psychic functions, are not consciousness, and that this or that state of consciousness is something pertaining to them, but separate from them, and in some cases capable of being separately observed.


In the early editions of Tertium Organum I have used the word consciousness in its generally accepted meaning, i.e., as a complex of psychic functions, or in the sense of their indication and contents. But as in my future works it will be necessary for me to use the word consciousness in its real and true meaning, I have tried in this revised text of Tertium Organum to substitute for the word consciousness (wherever it is used in the sense of a complex of psychic functions)


p. xv

such other words as psyche, or psychic life, which perfectly express my meaning in such cases.


Furthermore, in my work of revision, I have found numerous instances of illustrations, examples, etc., having no direct connection with the main theme. I have found also that some of these introduced themes vitiate the correctness of the main line of thought, creating associations which lead too far away. Other themes also, accidentally touched upon, demand a considerably more extended treatment than can be given them within the limits of this book, but being inadequately developed they leave a wrong impression.


In such cases I consider it necessary to eliminate this extraneous matter in order to elucidate the principal thought more clearly and directly, particularly as some of the questions touched upon demanding more or different exposition are discussed at length in my forth-coming books.


In conclusion, let me express to Mr. Nicholas Bessaraboff and to Mr. Claude Bragdon my deep appreciation of their labors on the translation of my book into English. This translation, made without my knowledge and participation, at a time when I was cut off by war and revolution from the civilized world, transmits my thought so exactly that after a very attentive review of the book I could find only one word to correct. Such a result could be achieved only because Mr. Bessaraboff and Mr. Bragdon were not translating words merely, but were grasping directly the thoughts back of them. Also, it is especially pleasant for me to remember that a number of years ago Mr. Bragdon's Man the Square reached me in Petrograd, and that I, not knowing Mr. Bragdon's other works at all, selected this little book from a whole series received from abroad, as one which carried the message of a common thought, a common understanding.


P. OUSPENSKY


Constantinople, June 1921

1922

July 16, 2005

An Introduction to Metaphysics by Henri Bergson

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

THIS CELEBRATED ESSAY was first published in the Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale in January, 1903. It appeared, then, after Time and Free Will and Matter and Memory and before Creative Evolution; and while containing ideas set forth in the first two of these works, it announces some of those which were afterwards developed in the last.

Though this book can in no sense be regarded as an epitome of the others, it yet forms the best introduction to them. M. Edouard Le Roy in his lately published book on M. Bergson's philosophy speaks of "this marvelously suggestive study which constitutes the best preface to the books themselves."

It has, however, more importance than a simple introduction would have, for in it M. Bergson explains, at greater length and in greater detail than in the other books, exactly what he means to convey by the word intuition. The intuitive method is treated independently and not, as elsewhere in his writings, incidentally, in its applications to particular problems. For this reason every writer who has attempted to give a complete exposition of M. Bergson's philosophy has been obliged to quote this essay at length; and it is indispensable therefore to the full understanding of its author's position. Translations into German, Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Swedish, and Russian have lately appeared, but the French original is at present out of print.

This translation has had the great advantage of being revised in proof by the author. I have to thank him for many alternative renderings, and also for a few slight alterations in the text, which he thought would make his meaning clearer.

T. E. HULME

ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

*

A COMPARISON of the definitions of metaphysics and the various concepts of the absolute leads to the discovery that philosophers, in spite of their apparent divergencies, agree in distinguishing two profoundly different ways of knowing a thing. The first implies that we move round the object; the second, that we enter into it. The first depends on the point of view at which we are placed and on the symbols by which we express ourselves. The second neither depends on a point of view nor relies on any symbol. The first kind of knowledge may be said to stop at the relative; the second, in those cases where it is possible, to attain the absolute.

Consider, for example, the movement of an object in space. My perception of the motion will vary with the point of view, moving or stationary, from which I observe it. My expression of it will vary with the systems of axes, or the points of reference, to which I relate it; that is, with the symbols by which I translate it. For this double reason I call such motion relative: in the one case, as in the other, I am placed outside the object itself. But when I speak of an absolute movement, I am attributing to the moving object an interior and, so to speak, states of mind; I also imply that I am in sympathy with those states, and that I insert myself in them by an effort of imagination. Then, according as the object is moving or stationary, according as it adopts one movement or another, what I experience will vary. And what I experience will depend neither on the point of view I may take up in regard to the object, since I am inside the object itself, nor on the symbols by which I may translate the motion, since I have rejected all translations in order to possess the original.

1912

July 8, 2005

War Letters from a Living Dead Man by Elsa Barker

THE SIXTH RACE

Have you thought about the United States after this war? A new race is being prepared for in the United States. That is why you had to be born there—you through whom I write. That is why I am trying to use you in my work for Universal Brotherhood.

No, you need not remain in the United States. It is better that you should continue to mingle with other races in their old habitations.

The Theosophical Society could not have been born anywhere else. Spiritualism could not have been born anywhere else. In the United States is a readiness for new things, a reaching out for the untried, a welcome for things because they are new.

Of course this tendency may be and is abused. Almost any faker can find followers in the United States; but without that hospitable spirit towards the New, the great new race could not come into existence there.

This race is not made of new souls, but of the oldest and most experienced souls, experienced in other lives of the past. The ingenuousness and the childlike quality of Americans are the results of spiritual maturity. The race, as a race, is in its youth; but the souls are old as time.

After they have taken a much needed rest, many or most of the souls that go out by death in this war will find rebirth in the United States. Oh, that land will be a very wonderful place in seventy-five or a hundred years!

You will not be here then, unless you discover the fountain of immortal youth, or unless you come back soon, renouncing the rest in heaven.

Ponce de Leon was inspired when he sought the fountain in the New World. It is there if anywhere; but Australia and Russia will run you a keen race for the future.

No, I shall not tell you about the Seventh Race. It will come in good time; but now I want to talk to you about the Sixth, one of whose pioneers you are.

Do not cut this out of my book because an enemy once said that you were egotistical. Our enemies always see and hate their own qualities in us. Develop some quality an enemy has not, and he (or she) will love you for it. The horseman is not jealous of the musician in his quality as musician. It is the musician who is jealous of the musician, the egotist who sees and hates another’s egotism. If Germany were a weak nation she could not so hate England for her greater power.

When the Sixth Race is fully incarnate, all men and women of real development will be able to see in the astral world, and to hear unspoken words, and to read the thoughts of others. Of course there will be people of all grades of development in that new race. Equality of development is a pretty dream, you Socialists. Have you not also your superior ones, your leaders? The less developed souls who come into incarnation with the Sixth race are those who have earned in the past the right to be open to the quickening influences of that race. How have they earned that right? By their willingness to change and to grow.

Go out on the hillside and watch the growing things. Take a leaf from the book of Nature.

You wonder about the future of England. Old England is provided for. Has she not given birth to the civilization you enjoy? Other races were present, of course; but language tells the story.

As I said before, England has been an instrument in the hands of these Great Ones who wished to make possible the fraternity of races. She has carried the torch round the world. She has tied continents together, and woven the chain which will bind men to each other in days that are to come. Honor her, for she deserves honor.

Honor all nations, as aggregates of souls, your brother-souls; but honor most those nations that have worked with the Law and not against it.

Those who aspired to see Germany the cradle of the new race should have made less noise in the birth-chamber. They have scared the angel visitor away.

There are four races in Europe that are cruel races. They cannot rock the cradle of the divine infant. They would not remove the pin that stuck in its back, lest if it did not suffer and cry its lungs would lack air. I need not name these races.

The Sixth Race is a sensitive infant and learns more through love than through discipline. The Sixth Race will apply the discipline to itself when it feels the need of it. Its schoolmaster will be curiosity, and its play will be the sciences and arts of peace. Its cradle-song will be a chant of Brotherhood. No, it could not be rocked in a German cradle; but many a German-American will help to rock it. They make lovely cradle-songs, the Germans, when they forget the superiority of being grown-ups and go back to the fancies of childhood, the myth-making fancies.

We want to see more and more Frenchmen in the United States, for France has more to teach the new race than has any other nation—France, the inspired prophet, and most of all France the critic. Americans are not critical enough, not analytical enough, not subtle enough. America needs France, and the men and women of France. You have heard the old saying, “Every man has two countries, his own and France.” I may be misquoting, but the idea is there.

You wonder how anyone born to the glory and charm of France should ever come to the New World? But many will come, and more will follow, both by the path of the ocean and by the path of rebirth. You came that way yourself, if you but knew it.

Recover the memory of past births, you pioneers of the Sixth Race! You can do it. It is part of the heritage of that race.

America, the “melting-pot” of nations! You were not made to rule an outside empire. When the time comes make over the Philippine Islands to a nation that can be trusted with them. Your empire is within your own body, you race of a score of races, you inheritor of a score of fathers, you mother of the one new race!

Increase your army and navy so long as you are nervous. Put lightning-rods on your house and burglar-alarms on the doors and windows. Feel secure. Then dream about brotherhood—when you can trust in it.

Sit by the fire of your own coal dug from the ground by Dutchmen, as it burns in a chimney of your own bricks made by the hands of Irishmen, read your own newspaper printed in the language of Englishmen, by the light of your own lamp made by a German, on your own hearth-rug made by a Turk or an Armenian, enjoy the feel of your own muscles trained by a Swede, in your own linen washed by a Chinaman, listen to your daughter playing on your own piano the music of a Russian, an Italian, a Pole or a Frenchman, see all over your own room things made by the sons of a dozen other races, your neighbors, your fellow-citizens, your fellow-Americans, then tell me whether you dare not to believe in Universal Brotherhood, and in the new race, the synthesis of all races!

1915

July 6, 2005

Spiritual Proofs of Another Life by Rose Levere

Preface:
Fearless that this book will fail to at least interest the intelligent reading public, I present it as one of the most remarkable and unique literary compilations ever given to the world.

The essays herein are by persons of historical distinction, who, many of them, having passed on in former decades of time to the Great Boyond, now come back in soirit and independently write them.

The letters were given in my own room under conditions and circumstances which to me established beyond all peradventure the identity of the writers and the genuineness of the writings. But they hold inherent qualitites which shows this. The choice of themes, the style, the diction, the character of expression so peculiar to each writer, and so impossible of successful imitation,will at once appeal to the intelligence of every reader endowed with ordinary literary genius. It will be observed that no letter herein printed is a reproduction of any given during the mortal life of its author.

With love and kind regard to all whose hands this book shall fall, I dedicate it as a pronouncedly affirmative answer to the question asked in all ages - "If a man die shall he live again?"

1913

*

The Crucifixtion of the Nazarene by Pontius Pilate (Translated and Transcribed by William T. Stead)

Various translations of the event of the great crucifixtion have lost to it its real colors. You are told in the King James version that Simon carried the cross of Jesus. This was not possible. It was too great weight and too cumbersome. The cross was borne by Simon and his two strong sons, Alexander and Rufus. Jesus was not raised and pinioned to the cross. It was laid upon the ground and he was laid upon it and nailed thereto, and it wsa raised and secured in a standing position. The death of Jesus was not the simple result of crucifixtion; that method of punishment was usual in that day, and it was well known that persons so hung upon the cross livde three days even longer. Jesus was a young man of strength and vigor, and could hardly have expired in the brief period of six hours.

The cricified died under lingering processes of exhaustion and faintness. A few minutes before his death Jesus cried out with a loud voice. The sudden termination of his sufferings was not due to any injury to the brain, lung or vital organ except the arrestment of the heart action by syncope, or a rupture of the walls of the heart, His loud cry and other exclamations showed his was not the case of fainting, or stopping of the heart action by sncope.

Jesus succumbed to the death by rupture of the walls of the heart. The time of death is regulated by the size of the ruptured opening. In his case it was brief in consequence of the blood escaping from the interior of the heart into the pericardium, three or four pounds of blood having accumulated within it, separated into red-clot and serum, or blood and water.

Post-mortem examinations were not permitted in those days, but a virtual post-mortem examination in crude form was possible in the case of Jesus through the gash made in his side by the thrust of the Roman soldier's spear; in fact, so large that the apostle Thomas was enabled to place his hand, not his finger, in the opening. This he did as examination and not from doubt, as is wrongly recorded at the appearance of Jesus in materialized form.

As a result of that piercing was the flow of blood and water seen by apostle John. Nothing could have produced this but the collection of blood in the pericardium resulting from rupture of the heart-this crossamentum and serum. Severe mental emotions sometimes produce rupture of the walls of the heart.

No victim offered a more striking example of agony and suffering than Jesus, scourged as he was and forsaken by those he believed were his friends, under wrongful accusations. Remember the scriptural words:

"Reproach hath broken my heart!
My heart is like wax!"

Jesus was slain not by the effects of the pain of his body, but by greater anguish in his mind.

He died of a broken heart.