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MW asked PB about the relation of cosmic and individual mentalism. MW said that we (at Wisdom’s Goldenrod) tended to think that what the World-Mind contributed was real and what the individual contributed was unreal. PB replied, “So that is what you think.” Then PB asked if the scientists in the group had discussed these things—if they had read PB’s books and tried to put it together with their experience. MW tried to explain why he thought there was still a gap between the explanations of science and that of mentalism (i.e., a quantitative account of sound in terms of frequency can’t explain the qualitative experience of a heard note.) PB slowly dictated the following, and MW wrote it down as verbatim as possible—

If you start in the normal way as science does, this gap you talk about, it persists. If you start the other way, that is, from ultimate consciousness and work back to limited little consciousness, there’s some chance, a better chance of understanding. But there’s no guarantee that it will be the complete understanding, since that demands something from you—which is a higher faculty than intellectual logical ratiocination. Then these two can come together and you can start again to work up again, a second time, but not alone. That is the difficulty. If it didn’t exist, the world long ago would have accepted mentalism.

So, we acknowledge the fact that it is a very, very difficult act of perception to attain. And the perception is a kind of experience, an altered experience, what they are beginning to call altered consciousness, an alteration of consciousness—to know for yourself that you’re living in a thought world, not a physical one. And that you yourself are a thought-of-item. Anyway, that is what the situation is.

So now we come back to the question which is, obviously, the nature of consciousness. This must be dealt with first. And the cosmic consciousness, as you call it, must be recognized as existent—even though you feel you can’t function in it, or consciously function in it. It is in fact itself the being which is the functioner, the functioned, [and the functioning]. The cosmic consciousness is that in which everything is functioning, but that cosmic being is the only one fully aware on this level. “Fully” is the key word there. So, when that is recognized as being there on that ultimate level, even though you can’t stretch your own mind to see whether it is there or not—it is then possible to foresee that projections can appear out of it which take their lesser place, and perform their lesser functions. Until we come to [you], to the human projection. So here we are, trying as such projections to find out what we are, where we came from and where we are going, what we are trying to do, and especially—what is—not “pushing,” what is the “moving” force in us. Now these questions have been asked many times in history, and many answers have been given. But as I said before, discursive thinking alone can carry us, but only to a certain point—which is not far enough. But deeper than expected because of the mind’s power to stretch itself. I mean by that, the increasing recognition of psychical, extra-sensorial and mystical phases of experience. So, I mentioned before that we have to develop a second way of knowledge, which is direct and one could say, revelatory. It reveals what IS at first glance. And does not have to go through the various steps which a scientist is obliged to go through. Such revelation becomes possible by the power which is behind, behind the current phase of human development and is pushing it to these further phases. We human will, can, and must work out this advance because we are destined to do it, and it is in fact the very next scene in the picture! So, mentalism can be partially understood and can become partially acceptable by the play of our thinking capacities as they are now, and is already becoming more largely understood and therefore more acceptable by the revelatory movement of that second sense.

Now, what—the question is asked—what is the relation between cosmos and human? Well, just as there are the most wonderful developments in the animal kingdom all through the millions of years of history, so there have been in the human kingdom during its lengthy lifetime, since every form of imagination is possible. We should not be surprised that the World-Mind has the capability, and uses it, to make us humans feel very much alive, very active shaping our own personal lives and histories in the belief that we ourselves are doing it, and in a way responsible for it. Men even have experience where they imagine that they have united with God—sometimes they imagine a visible God, taking a form; sometimes it is a formless but pure light; and sometimes it is not even light but pure being. Did they go beyond being? No—nowhere to go. All these are movements of the mind and in the mind. All this is possible. So, if pictures of the tremendous variety of forms, the lives, and histories are also possible—the workings of the human body, its appearances, its outside features and inside organs are all part of the play of this mind. I mentioned earlier that human think they are the agents rolling out the scroll of their own lives—and that they are, as Shakespeare says, “but players performing their entrances and exits.” That is what we are. But they believe they are doing it. And of course, to all outward appearances they are. Yet the actuality is that the whole performance is the work of the World-Mind, including these appearances and exits of each human being. All these arguments and discussions through which these students are wrapping themselves ‘round have to be left at that. That is mentalism. If they want to solve it further, they have to get nearer the World-Mind, it can’t be solved in the college alone.

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