The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus
Real help is not someone doing something for us, or a lessening of our personal suffering and struggles. Real help has no calming effect–quite the contrary–it makes the machine squirm itself into evolution-by-reflex.
We have such high, wonderful ideas! Such complicated and exalted psychological
and philosophical explanations, such noble intentions for ourselves..
Then, all of a sudden, in spite of our best intentions and our strongest wishes, things go wrong and we sink into deep, dark negative states. From the depths of the volcano of the deep self, an explosion erupts, destroying all our noble dreams and illusion in its wake. What became of our high ideals and noble intentions?
Deep down in the darkest, most primitive levels of the machine, someone or something, the most inaccessible part of ourselves, makes it impossible for us to actually carry out our highest aims and aspirations.
The will of the machine towards self-gratification and sleep is very different from the high ideals of the essential self, which has marvelous plans.
Periodic emotional storms constantly serve as reminders that the machine has a will of its own.
The essential self, with its great ideals, is unfortunately not the director of the machine and, under ordinary circumstances, can never be the director of the machine or anything else including itself. As it is, the essential self is a slave, not a master, and yet it was made to be master.
Our biggest lie about ourselves, beside the absurd idea that man is not just another species of primate belonging to the animal kingdom on the Earth, is that the essential self is the director–the absolute autocrat–of the machine, when we can clearly see from our daily experience that it has no will the machine whatsoever.
The machine exercise its destructive will, completely disregarding the intentions of the essential self. This conflict gives the illusion of many different identities each acting on its own.
Really, there are only two; the intelligence which formulates the higher aims and aspirations, and the primitive brain, which is the real director of the machine, because its savage will is completely dominant.
We are in the grip of the machine's private insanity, forced to live as we would never live if we were able to actually exert our own will upon the machine, to control and direct its activities every moment of the day.
Yet we tell ourselves the lie that the mental apparatus is the director of the machine. Originally, the meaning of virtue was that the noble aims and aspirations of the essential self had reached down through the mental apparatus and rooted itself into the deepest part of the machine and that the aims and aspirations of the deepest darkest part of the machine had in fact become the same as those of the essential self.
In our beginning work, we first encounter the idea that we are expected to apply a method, some technique unknown to us in ordinary life, which can somehow help us to penetrate through the deepest, darkest part of the machine and plant our ideals in it.Our ideals become an incarnate reality in flesh and blood. At last, we are one with the machine, in this sense at least.
This is a very ancient idea expressed in the majority of Greek philosophy. which was expressed at that time not just by gathering to discuss interesting ideas, but schools of practical knowledge. We will find these same ideas in Plato's Symposium, and in the teaching of Pythagoras.
Once we have seriously studied the machine and clearly understood the real nature of our situation, we will see that we have only three choices.
We can refuse to acknowledge our total lack of will over the machine, and pointedly ignore the inner emotional storms and external upheavals caused by the machine against all our higher intentions.
The second choice is to lower our standards, to make ideals for ourselves which conform more to the actual swinish behavior of the machine.
The third choice is the most difficult. We can search for a method, a practical means, by which the machine is brought to a state which actually reflects the highest ideals of our essential self in the deepest fibers of its being.
It is not necessary to bring the machine to its knees on every issue. It is only necessary to awaken the machine because only a sleeping machine exercise its will.
An awakened machine cannot possess negative force, and since negative force provides the force for the exertion of its will, an awakened machine has no will of its own. Without the force of its own will, the machine comes to a standstill.
When the machine is awake, even the subtle suggestion of the essential self, which has no weapon but attention, are sufficient to direct the machine.
There is no way to fight the machine directly, to make a direct attack, and win. No method of training and drilling the machine to conform to higher aims and aspirations can remain in force throughout the life of the machine. At some point, all ordinary methods of training the machine to obedience will fail.
We can have the best intentions in the world, the best aesthetics, the most marvelous plans for ourselves, yet if the machine continues to behave monstrously, all our plans will come to nothing, all our ideals will be useless.
We must accomplish two things. First, we must find some way to define, delineate, clarify what are our exact ideals. Then we must see that we do not have the will to bring the entire machine into action as a unified whole.
When we formulate an aim, if the machine has no will of its own, we are unified, a true republic. This inner unity of higher aspirations of the essential self and the deepest most primitive part of the machine, is the real meaning of the ideal of Utopia, the perfect republic.
I am, but more than this, I have become. In ancient times, the awakened machine was referred to as the "living father" because it was recognized that the machine is the father of the soul. When the machine and I reflect one another, then the machine, the father, and I are one, and the machine is a reflection of my innermost being.
When we make the outer as the inner, the inner as the outer, then I and the father–the essential self and the human biological machine–are one.
It must be clearly understood that the Work cannot be studied through a sleeping machine; the Work means nothing to a sleeping machine. A sleeping machine cares only for itself, its aims, its problems and its pursuits.
A sleeping machine is hypnotized by its own subjective fixations and beyond those fixations there is no objective reality.
It is deaf and blind to the Work and even to higher ideals, because it is asleep. The Work cannot be defined because it is living, growing, and changing. The word "living" was once the same as the word "awake".