FANTASIA OF THE UNCONSCIOUS
D. H. LAWRENCE
New York Thomas Seltzer 1922 Copyright, 1922, by Thomas Seltzer, Inc.
II. THE HOLY FAMILY
III. PLEXUSES, PLANES AND SO ON
IV. TREES AND BABIES AND PAPAS AND MAMAS
V. THE FIVE SENSES
VI. FIRST GLIMMERINGS OF MIND
VII. FIRST STEPS IN EDUCATION
VIII. EDUCATION AND SEX IN MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD
IX. THE BIRTH OF SEX
X. PARENT LOVE
XI. THE VICIOUS CIRCLE
XII. LITANY OF EXHORTATIONS
XIV. SLEEP AND DREAMS
XV. THE LOWER SELF
The present book is a continuation from "Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious." The generality of readers had better just leave it alone. The generality of critics likewise. I really don't want to convince anybody. It is quite in opposition to my whole nature. I don't intend my books for the generality of readers. I count it a mistake of our mistaken democracy, that every man who can read print is allowed to believe that he can read all that is printed. I count it a misfortune that serious books are exposed in the public market, like slaves exposed naked for sale. But there we are, since we live in an age of mistaken democracy, we must go through with it.
I warn the generality of readers, that this present book will seem to them only a rather more revolting mass of wordy nonsense than the last. I would warn the generality of critics to throw it in the waste paper basket without more ado.
As for the limited few, in whom one must perforce find an answerer, I may as well say straight off that I stick to the solar plexus. That statement alone, I hope, will thin their numbers considerably.
Finally, to the remnants of a remainder, in order to apologize for the sudden lurch into cosmology, or cosmogony, in this book, I wish to say that the whole thing hangs inevitably together. I am not a scientist. I am an amateur of amateurs. As one of my critics said, you either believe or you don't.
I am not a proper archaeologist nor an anthropologist nor an ethnologist. I am no "scholar" of any sort. But I am very grateful to scholars for their sound work. I have found hints, suggestions for what I say here in all kinds of scholarly books, from the Yoga and Plato and St. John the Evangel and the early Greek philosophers like Herakleitos down to Fraser and his "Golden Bough," and even Freud and Frobenius. Even then I only remember hints—and I proceed by intuition. This leaves you quite free to dismiss the whole wordy mass of revolting nonsense, without a qualm.
Only let me say, that to my mind there is a great field of science which is as yet quite closed to us. I refer to the science which proceeds in terms of life and is established on data of living experience and of sure intuition. Call it subjective science if you like. Our objective science of modern knowledge concerns itself only with phenomena, and with phenomena as regarded in their cause-and-effect relationship. I have nothing to say against our science. It is perfect as far as it goes. But to regard it as exhausting the whole scope of human possibility in knowledge seems to me just puerile. Our science is a science of the dead world. Even biology never considers life, but only mechanistic functioning and apparatus of life.
I honestly think that the great pagan world of which Egypt and Greece were the last living terms, the great pagan world which preceded our own era once, had a vast and perhaps perfect science of its own, a science in terms of life. In our era this science crumbled into magic and charlatanry. But even wisdom crumbles.
I believe that this great science previous to ours and quite different in constitution and nature from our science once was universal, established all over the then-existing globe. I believe it was esoteric, invested in a large priesthood. Just as mathematics and mechanics and physics are defined and expounded in the same way in the universities of China or Bolivia or London or Moscow to-day, so, it seems to me, in the great world previous to ours a great science and cosmology were taught esoterically in all countries of the globe, Asia, Polynesia, America, Atlantis and Europe. Belt's suggestion of the geographical nature of this previous world seems to me most interesting. In the period which geologists call the Glacial Period, the waters of the earth must have been gathered up in a vast body on the higher places of our globe, vast worlds of ice. And the sea-beds of to-day must have been comparatively dry. So that the Azores rose up mountainous from the plain of Atlantis, where the Atlantic now washes, and the Easter Isles and the Marquesas and the rest rose lofty from the marvelous great continent of the Pacific.
In that world men lived and taught and knew, and were in one complete correspondence over all the earth. Men wandered back and forth from Atlantis to the Polynesian Continent as men now sail from Europe to America. The interchange was complete, and knowledge, science was universal over the earth, cosmopolitan as it is to-day.
Then came the melting of the glaciers, and the world flood. The refugees from the drowned continents fled to the high places of America, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Isles. And some degenerated naturally into cave men, neolithic and paleolithic creatures, and some retained their marvelous innate beauty and life-perfection, as the South Sea Islanders, and some wandered savage in Africa, and some, like Druids or Etruscans or Chaldeans or Amerindians or Chinese, refused to forget, but taught the old wisdom, only in its half-forgotten, symbolic forms. More or less forgotten, as knowledge: remembered as ritual, gesture, and myth-story.
And so, the intense potency of symbols is part at least memory. And so it is that all the great symbols and myths which dominate the world when our history first begins, are very much the same in every country and every people, the great myths all relate to one another. And so it is that these myths now begin to hypnotize us again, our own impulse towards our own scientific way of understanding being almost spent. And so, besides myths, we find the same mathematic figures, cosmic graphs which remain among the aboriginal peoples in all continents, mystic figures and signs whose true cosmic or scientific significance is lost, yet which continue in use for purposes of conjuring or divining.
If my reader finds this bosh and abracadabra, all right for him. Only I have no more regard for his little crowings on his own little dunghill. Myself, I am not so sure that I am one of the one-and-onlies. I like the wide world of centuries and vast ages—mammoth worlds beyond our day, and mankind so wonderful in his distances, his history that has no beginning yet always the pomp and the magnificence of human splendor unfolding through the earth's changing periods. Floods and fire and convulsions and ice-arrest intervene between the great glamorous civilizations of mankind. But nothing will ever quench humanity and the human potentiality to evolve something magnificent out of a renewed chaos.
I do not believe in evolution, but in the strangeness and rainbow-change of ever-renewed creative civilizations.
So much, then, for my claim to remarkable discoveries. I believe I am only trying to stammer out the first terms of a forgotten knowledge. But I have no desire to revive dead kings, or dead sages. It is not for me to arrange fossils, and decipher hieroglyphic phrases. I couldn't do it if I wanted to. But then I can do something else. The soul must take the hint from the relics our scientists have so marvelously gathered out of the forgotten past, and from the hint develop a new living utterance. The spark is from dead wisdom, but the fire is life.
And as an example—a very simple one—of how a scientist of the most innocent modern sort may hint at truths which, when stated, he would laugh at as fantastic nonsense, let us quote a word from the already old-fashioned "Golden Bough." "It must have appeared to the ancient Aryan that the sun was periodically recruited from the fire which resided in the sacred oak."
Exactly. The fire which resided in the Tree of Life. That is, life itself. So we must read: "It must have appeared to the ancient Aryan that the sun was periodically recruited from life."—Which is what the early Greek philosophers were always saying. And which still seems to me the real truth, the clue to the cosmos. Instead of life being drawn from the sun, it is the emanation from life itself, that is, from all the living plants and creatures which nourish the sun.
Of course, my dear critic, the ancient Aryans were just doddering—the old duffers: or babbling, the babes. But as for me, I have some respect for my ancestors, and believe they had more up their sleeve than just the marvel of the unborn me.
One last weary little word. This pseudo-philosophy of mine—"pollyanalytics," as one of my respected critics might say—is deduced from the novels and poems, not the reverse. The novels and poems come unwatched out of one's pen. And then the absolute need which one has for some sort of satisfactory mental attitude towards oneself and things in general makes one try to abstract some definite conclusions from one's experiences as a writer and as a man. The novels and poems are pure passionate experience. These "pollyanalytics" are inferences made afterwards, from the experience.
And finally, it seems to me that even art is utterly dependent on philosophy: or if you prefer it, on a metaphysic. The metaphysic or philosophy may not be anywhere very accurately stated and may be quite unconscious, in the artist, yet it is a metaphysic that governs men at the time, and is by all men more or less comprehended, and lived. Men live and see according to some gradually developing and gradually withering vision. This vision exists also as a dynamic idea or metaphysic—exists first as such. Then it is unfolded into life and art. Our vision, our belief, our metaphysic is wearing woefully thin, and the art is wearing absolutely threadbare. We have no future; neither for our hopes nor our aims nor our art. It has all gone gray and opaque.
We've got to rip the old veil of a vision across, and find what the heart really believes in, after all: and what the heart really wants, for the next future. And we've got to put it down in terms of belief and of knowledge. And then go forward again, to the fulfillment in life and art.
Rip the veil of the old vision across, and walk through the rent. And if I try to do this—well, why not? If I try to write down what I see—why not? If a publisher likes to print the book—all right. And if anybody wants to read it, let him. But why anybody should read one single word if he doesn't want to, I don't see. Unless of course he is a critic who needs to scribble a dollar's worth of words, no matter how.
October 8, 1921
FANTASIA OF THE UNCONSCIOUS
Let us start by making a little apology to Psychoanalysis. It wasn't fair to jeer at the psychoanalytic unconscious; or perhaps it was fair to jeer at the psychoanalytic unconscious, which is truly a negative quantity and an unpleasant menagerie. What was really not fair was to jeer at Psychoanalysis as if Freud had invented and described nothing but an unconscious, in all his theory.
The unconscious is not, of course, the clue to the Freudian theory. The real clue is sex. A sexual motive is to be attributed to all human activity.
Now this is going too far. We are bound to admit than an element of sex enters into all human activity. But so does an element of greed, and of many other things. We are bound to admit that into all human relationships, particularly adult human relationships, a large element of sex enters. We are thankful that Freud has insisted on this. We are thankful that Freud pulled us somewhat to earth, out of all our clouds of superfineness. What Freud says is always partly true. And half a loaf is better than no bread.
But really, there is the other half of the loaf. All is not sex. And a sexual motive is not to be attributed to all human activities. We know it, without need to argue.
Sex surely has a specific meaning. Sex means the being divided into male and female; and the magnetic desire or impulse which puts male apart from female, in a negative or sundering magnetism, but which also draws male and female together in a long and infinitely varied approach towards the critical act of coition. Sex without the consummating act of coition is never quite sex, in human relationships: just as a eunuch is never quite a man. That is to say, the act of coition is the essential clue to sex.
Now does all life work up to the one consummating act of coition? In one direction, it does, and it would be better if psychoanalysis plainly said so. In one direction, all life works up to the one supreme moment of coition. Let us all admit it, sincerely.
But we are not confined to one direction only, or to one exclusive consummation. Was the building of the cathedrals a working up towards the act of coition? Was the dynamic impulse sexual? No. The sexual element was present, and important. But not predominant. The same in the building of the Panama Canal. The sexual impulse, in its widest form, was a very great impulse towards the building of the Panama Canal. But there was something else, of even higher importance, and greater dynamic power.
And what is this other, greater impulse? It is the desire of the human male to build a world: not "to build a world for you, dear"; but to build up out of his own self and his own belief and his own effort something wonderful. Not merely something useful. Something wonderful. Even the Panama Canal would never have been built simply to let ships through. It is the pure disinterested craving of the human male to make something wonderful, out of his own head and his own self, and his own soul's faith and delight, which starts everything going. This is the prime motivity. And the motivity of sex is subsidiary to this: often directly antagonistic.
That is, the essentially religious or creative motive is the first motive for all human activity. The sexual motive comes second. And there is a great conflict between the interests of the two, at all times.
What we want to do, is to trace the creative or religious motive to its source in the human being, keeping in mind always the near relationship between the religious motive and the sexual. The two great impulses are like man and wife, or father and son. It is no use putting one under the feet of the other.
The great desire to-day is to deny the religious impulse altogether, or else to assert its absolute alienity from the sexual impulse. The orthodox religious world says faugh! to sex. Whereupon we thank Freud for giving them tit for tat. But the orthodox scientific world says fie! to the religious impulse. The scientist wants to discover a cause for everything. And there is no cause for the religious impulse. Freud is with the scientists. Jung dodges from his university gown into a priest's surplice till we don't know where we are. We prefer Freud's Sex to Jung's Libido or Bergson's Elan Vital. Sex has at least some definite reference, though when Freud makes sex accountable for everything he as good as makes it accountable for nothing.
We refuse any Cause, whether it be Sex or Libido or Elan Vital or ether or unit of force or perpetuum mobile or anything else. But also we feel that we cannot, like Moses, perish on the top of our present ideal Pisgah, or take the next step into thin air. There we are, at the top of our Pisgah of ideals, crying Excelsior and trying to clamber up into the clouds: that is, if we are idealists with the religious impulse rampant in our breasts. If we are scientists we practice aeroplane flying or eugenics or disarmament or something equally absurd.
The promised land, if it be anywhere, lies away beneath our feet. No more prancing upwards. No more uplift. No more little Excelsiors crying world-brotherhood and international love and Leagues of Nations. Idealism and materialism amount to the same thing on top of Pisgah, and the space is very crowded. We're all cornered on our mountain top, climbing up one another and standing on one another's faces in our scream of Excelsior.
To your tents, O Israel! Brethren, let us go down. We will descend. The way to our precious Canaan lies obviously downhill. An end of uplift. Downhill to the land of milk and honey. The blood will soon be flowing faster than either, but we can't help that. We can't help it if Canaan has blood in its veins, instead of pure milk and honey.
If it is a question of origins, the origin is always the same, whatever we say about it. So is the cause. Let that be a comfort to us. If we want to talk about God, well, we can please ourselves. God has been talked about quite a lot, and He doesn't seem to mind. Why we should take it so personally is a problem. Likewise if we wish to have a tea party with the atom, let us: or with the wriggling little unit of energy, or the ether, or the Libido, or the Elan Vital, or any other Cause. Only don't let us have sex for tea. We've all got too much of it under the table; and really, for my part, I prefer to keep mine there, no matter what the Freudians say about me.
But it is tiring to go to any more tea parties with the Origin, or the Cause, or even the Lord. Let us pronounce the mystic Om, from the pit of the stomach, and proceed.
There's not a shadow of doubt about it, the First Cause is just unknowable to us, and we'd be sorry if it wasn't. Whether it's God or the Atom. All I say is Om!
The first business of every faith is to declare its ignorance. I don't know where I come from—nor where I exit to. I don't know the origins of life nor the goal of death. I don't know how the two parent cells which are my biological origin became the me which I am. I don't in the least know what those two parent cells were. The chemical analysis is just a farce, and my father and mother were just vehicles. And yet, I must say, since I've got to know about the two cells, I'm glad I do know.
The Moses of Science and the Aaron of Idealism have got the whole bunch of us here on top of Pisgah. It's a tight squeeze, and we'll be falling very, very foul of one another in five minutes, unless some of us climb down. But before leaving our eminence let us have a look round, and get our bearings.
They say that way lies the New Jerusalem of universal love: and over there the happy valley of indulgent Pragmatism: and there, quite near, is the chirpy land of the Vitalists: and in those dark groves the home of successful Analysis, surnamed Psycho: and over those blue hills the Supermen are prancing about, though you can't see them. And there is Besantheim, and there is Eddyhowe, and there, on that queer little tableland, is Wilsonia, and just round the corner is Rabindranathopolis....
But Lord, I can't see anything. Help me, heaven, to a telescope, for I see blank nothing.
I'm not going to try any more. I'm going to sit down on my posterior and sluther full speed down this Pisgah, even if it cost me my trouser seat. So ho!—away we go.
In the beginning—there never was any beginning, but let it pass. We've got to make a start somehow. In the very beginning of all things, time and space and cosmos and being, in the beginning of all these was a little living creature. But I don't know even if it was little. In the beginning was a living creature, its plasm quivering and its life-pulse throbbing. This little creature died, as little creatures always do. But not before it had had young ones. When the daddy creature died, it fell to pieces. And that was the beginning of the cosmos. Its little body fell down to a speck of dust, which the young ones clung to because they must cling to something. Its little breath flew asunder, the hotness and brightness of the little beast—I beg your pardon, I mean the radiant energy from the corpse flew away to the right hand, and seemed to shine warm in the air, while the clammy energy from the body flew away to the left hand, and seemed dark and cold. And so, the first little master was dead and done for, and instead of his little living body there was a speck of dust in the middle, which became the earth, and on the right hand was a brightness which became the sun, rampaging with all the energy that had come out of the dead little master, and on the left hand a darkness which felt like an unrisen moon. And that was how the Lord created the world. Except that I know nothing about the Lord, so I shouldn't mention it.
But I forgot the soul of the little master. It probably did a bit of flying as well—and then came back to the young ones. It seems most natural that way.
Which is my account of the Creation. And I mean by it, that Life is not and never was anything but living creatures. That's what life is and will be just living creatures, no matter how large you make the capital L. Out of living creatures the material cosmos was made: out of the death of living creatures, when their little living bodies fell dead and fell asunder into all sorts of matter and forces and energies, sun, moons, stars and worlds. So you got the universe. Where you got the living creature from, that first one, don't ask me. He was just there. But he was a little person with a soul of his own. He wasn't Life with a capital L.
If you don't believe me, then don't. I'll even give you a little song to sing.
"If it be not true to me What care I how true it be . ."
That's the kind of man I really like, chirping his insouciance. And I chirp back:
"Though it be not true to thee It's gay and gospel truth to me. . ."
The living live, and then die. They pass away, as we know, to dust and to oxygen and nitrogen and so on. But what we don't know, and what we might perhaps know a little more, is how they pass away direct into life itself—that is, direct into the living. That is, how many dead souls fly over our untidiness like swallows and build under the eaves of the living. How many dead souls, like swallows, twitter and breed thoughts and instincts under the thatch of my hair and the eaves of my forehead, I don't know. But I believe a good many. And I hope they have a good time. And I hope not too many are bats.
I am sorry to say I believe in the souls of the dead. I am almost ashamed to say, that I believe the souls of the dead in some way reenter and pervade the souls of the living: so that life is always the life of living creatures, and death is always our affair. This bit, I admit, is bordering on mysticism. I'm sorry, because I don't like mysticism. It has no trousers and no trousers seat: n'a pas de quoi. And I should feel so uncomfortable if I put my hand behind me and felt an absolute blank.
Meanwhile a long, thin, brown caterpillar keeps on pretending to be a dead thin beech-twig, on a little bough at my feet. He had got his hind feet and his fore feet on the twig, and his body looped up like an arch in the air between, when a fly walked up the twig and began to mount the arch of the imitator, not having the least idea that it was on a gentleman's coat-tails. The caterpillar shook his stern, and the fly made off as if it had seen a ghost. The dead twig and the live twig now remain equally motionless, enjoying their different ways. And when, with this very pencil, I push the head of the caterpillar off from the twig, he remains on his tail, arched forward in air, and oscillating unhappily, like some tiny pendulum ticking. Ticking, ticking in mid-air, arched away from his planted tail. Till at last, after a long minute and a half, he touches the twig again, and subsides into twigginess. The only thing is, the dead beech-twig can't pretend to be a wagging caterpillar. Yet how the two commune! However—we have our exits and our entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts. More than he dreams of, poor darling. And I am entirely at a loss for a moral!
Well, then, we are born. I suppose that's a safe statement. And we become at once conscious, if we weren't so before. Nem con. And our little baby body is a little functioning organism, a little developing machine or instrument or organ, and our little baby mind begins to stir with all our wonderful psychical beginnings. And so we are in bud.
But it won't do. It is too much of a Pisgah sight. We overlook too much. Descendez, cher Moise. Vous voyez trop loin. You see too far all at once, dear Moses. Too much of a bird's-eye view across the Promised Land to the shore. Come down, and walk across, old fellow. And you won't see all that milk and honey and grapes the size of duck's eggs. All the dear little budding infant with its tender virginal mind and various clouds of glory instead of a napkin. Not at all, my dear chap. No such luck of a promised land.
Climb down, Pisgah, and go to Jericho. Allons, there is no road yet, but we are all Aarons with rods of our own.
THE HOLY FAMILY
We are all very pleased with Mr. Einstein for knocking that eternal axis out of the universe. The universe isn't a spinning wheel. It is a cloud of bees flying and veering round. Thank goodness for that, for we were getting drunk on the spinning wheel.
So that now the universe has escaped from the pin which was pushed through it, like an impaled fly vainly buzzing: now that the multiple universe flies its own complicated course quite free, and hasn't got any hub, we can hope also to escape.
We won't be pinned down, either. We have no one law that governs us. For me there is only one law: I am I. And that isn't a law, it's just a remark. One is one, but one is not all alone. There are other stars buzzing in the center of their own isolation. And there is no straight path between them. There is no straight path between you and me, dear reader, so don't blame me if my words fly like dust into your eyes and grit between your teeth, instead of like music into your ears. I am I, but also you are you, and we are in sad need of a theory of human relativity. We need it much more than the universe does. The stars know how to prowl round one another without much damage done. But you and I, dear reader, in the first conviction that you are me and that I am you, owing to the oneness of mankind, why, we are always falling foul of one another, and chewing each other's fur.
You are not me, dear reader, so make no pretentions to it. Don't get alarmed if I say things. It isn't your sacred mouth which is opening and shutting. As for the profanation of your sacred ears, just apply a little theory of relativity, and realize that what I say is not what you hear, but something uttered in the midst of my isolation, and arriving strangely changed and travel-worn down the long curve of your own individual circumambient atmosphere. I may say Bob, but heaven alone knows what the goose hears. And you may be sure that a red rag is, to a bull, something far more mysterious and complicated than a socialist's necktie.
So I hope now I have put you in your place, dear reader. Sit you like Watts' Hope on your own little blue globe, and I'll sit on mine, and we won't bump into one another if we can help it. You can twang your old hopeful lyre. It may be music to you, so I don't blame you. It is a terrible wowing in my ears. But that may be something in my individual atmosphere; some strange deflection as your music crosses the space between us. Certainly I never hear the concert of World Regeneration and Hope Revived Again without getting a sort of lock-jaw, my teeth go so keen on edge from the twanging harmony. Still, the world-regenerators may really be quite excellent performers on their own jews'-harps. Blame the edginess of my teeth.
Now I am going to launch words into space so mind your cosmic eye.
As I said in my small but naturally immortal book, "Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious," there's more in it than meets the eye. There's more in you, dear reader, than meets the eye. What, don't you believe it? Do you think you're as obvious as a poached egg on a piece of toast, like the poor lunatic? Not a bit of it, dear reader. You've got a solar plexus, and a lumbar ganglion not far from your liver, and I'm going to tell everybody. Nothing brings a man home to himself like telling everybody. And I will drive you home to yourself, do you hear? You've been poaching in my private atmospheric grounds long enough, identifying yourself with me and me with everybody. A nice row there'd be in heaven if Aldebaran caught Sirius by the tail and said, "Look here, you're not to look so green, you damm dog-star! It's an offense against star-regulations."
Which reminds me that the Arabs say the shooting stars, meteorites, are starry stones which the angels fling at the poaching demons whom they catch sight of prowling too near the palisades of heaven. I must say I like Arab angels. My heaven would coruscate like a catherine wheel, with white-hot star-stones. Away, you dog, you prowling cur.—Got him under the left ear-hole, Gabriel—! See him, see him, Michael? That hopeful blue devil! Land him one! Biff on your bottom, you hoper.
But I wish the Arabs wouldn't entice me, or you, dear reader, provoke me to this. I feel with you, dear reader, as I do with a deaf-man when he pushes his vulcanite ear, his listening machine, towards my mouth. I want to shout down the telephone ear-hole all kinds of improper things, to see what effect they will have on the stupid dear face at the end of the coil of wire. After all, words must be very different after they've trickled round and round a long wire coil. Whatever becomes of them! And I, who am a bit deaf myself, and may in the end have a deaf-machine to poke at my friends, it ill becomes me to be so unkind, yet that's how I feel. So there we are.
Help me to be serious, dear reader.
In that little book, "Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious," I tried rather wistfully to convince you, dear reader, that you had a solar plexus and a lumbar ganglion and a few other things. I don't know why I took the trouble. If a fellow doesn't believe he's got a nose, the best way to convince him is gently to waft a little pepper into his nostrils. And there was I painting my own nose purple, and wistfully inviting you to look and believe. No more, though.
You've got first and foremost a solar plexus, dear reader; and the solar plexus is a great nerve center which lies behind your stomach. I can't be accused of impropriety or untruth, because any book of science or medicine which deals with the nerve-system of the human body will show it to you quite plainly. So don't wriggle or try to look spiritual. Because, willy-nilly, you've got a solar plexus, dear reader, among other things. I'm writing a good sound science book, which there's no gainsaying.
Now, your solar plexus, most gentle of readers, is where you are you. It is your first and greatest and deepest center of consciousness. If you want to know how conscious and when conscious, I must refer you to that little book, "Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious."
At your solar plexus you are primarily conscious: there, behind you stomach. There you have the profound and pristine conscious awareness that you are you. Don't say you haven't. I know you have. You might as well try to deny the nose on your face. There is your first and deepest seat of awareness. There you are triumphantly aware of your own individual existence in the universe. Absolutely there is the keep and central stronghold of your triumphantly-conscious self. There you are, and you know it. So stick out your tummy gaily, my dear, with a Me voila. With a Here I am! With an Ecco mi! With a Da bin ich! There you are, dearie.
But not only a triumphant awareness that There you are. An exultant awareness also that outside this quiet gate, this navel, lies a whole universe on which you can lay tribute. Aha—at birth you closed the central gate for ever. Too dangerous to leave it open. Too near the quick. But there are other gates. There are eyes and mouths and ears and nostrils, besides the two lower gates of the passionate body, and the closed but not locked gates of the breasts. Many gates. And besides the actual gates, the marvelous wireless communication between the great center and the surrounding or contiguous world.
Authorized science tells you that this first great plexus, this all-potent nerve-center of consciousness and dynamic life-activity is a sympathetic center. From the solar plexus as from your castle-keep you look around and see the fair lands smiling, the corn and fruit and cattle of your increase, the cottages of your dependents and the halls of your beloveds. From the solar plexus you know that all the world is yours, and all is goodly.
This is the great center, where in the womb, your life first sparkled in individuality. This is the center that drew the gestating maternal blood-stream upon you, in the nine-months lurking, drew it on you for your increase. This is the center whence the navel-string broke, but where the invisible string of dynamic consciousness, like a dark electric current connecting you with the rest of life, will never break until you die and depart from corporate individuality.
They say, by the way, that doctors now perform a little operation on the born baby, so that no more navel shows. No more belly-buttons, dear reader! Lucky I caught you this generation, before the doctors had saved your appearances. Yet, caro mio, whether it shows or not, there you once had immediate connection with the maternal blood-stream. And, because the male nucleus which derived from the father still lies sparkling and potent within the solar plexus, therefore that great nerve-center of you, still has immediate knowledge of your father, a subtler but still vital connection. We call it the tie of blood. So be it. It is a tie of blood. But much more definite than we imagine. For true it is that the one bright male germ which went to your begetting was drawn from the blood of the father. And true it is that that same bright male germ lies unquenched and unquenchable at the center of you, within the famous solar plexus. And furthermore true is it that this unquenched father-spark within you sends forth vibrations and dark currents of vital activity all the time; connecting direct with your father. You will never be able to get away from it while you live.
The connection with the mother may be more obvious. Is there not your ostensible navel, where the rupture between you and her took place? But because the mother-child relation is more plausible and flagrant, is that any reason for supposing it deeper, more vital, more intrinsic? Not a bit. Because if the large parent mother-germ still lives and acts vividly and mysteriously in the great fused nucleus of your solar plexus, does the smaller, brilliant male-spark that derived from your father act any less vividly? By no means. It is different—it is less ostensible. It may be even in magnitude smaller. But it may be even more vivid, even more intrinsic. So beware how you deny the father-quick of yourself. You may be denying the most intrinsic quick of all.
In the same way it follows that, since brothers and sisters have the same father and mother, therefore in every brother and sister there is a direct communication such as can never happen between strangers. The parent nuclei do not die within the new nucleus. They remain there, marvelous naked sparkling dynamic life-centers, nodes, well-heads of vivid life itself. Therefore in every individual the parent nuclei live, and give direction connection, blood connection we call it, with the rest of the family. It is blood connection. For the fecundating nuclei are the very spark-essence of the blood. And while life lives the parent nuclei maintain their own centrality and dynamic effectiveness within the solar plexus of the child. So that every individual has mother and father both sparkling within himself.
But this is rather a preliminary truth than an intrinsic truth. The intrinsic truth of every individual is the new unit of unique individuality which emanates from the fusion of the parent nuclei. This is the incalculable and intangible Holy Ghost each time—each individual his own Holy Ghost. When, at the moment of conception, the two parent nuclei fuse to form a new unit of life, then takes place the great mystery of creation. A new individual appears—not the result of the fusion merely. Something more. The quality of individuality cannot be derived. The new individual, in his singleness of self, is a perfectly new whole. He is not a permutation and combination of old elements, transferred through the parents. No, he is something underived and utterly unprecedented, unique, a new soul.
This quality of pure individuality is, however, only the one supreme quality. It consummates all other qualities, but does not consume them. All the others are there, all the time. And only at his maximum does an individual surpass all his derivative elements, and become purely himself. And most people never get there. In his own pure individuality a man surpasses his father and mother, and is utterly unknown to them. "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" But this does not alter the fact that within him lives the mother-quick and the father-quick, and that though in his wholeness he is rapt away beyond the old mother-father connections, they are still there within him, consummated but not consumed. Nor does it alter the fact that very few people surpass their parents nowadays, and attain any individuality beyond them. Most men are half-born slaves: the little soul they are born with just atrophies, and merely the organism emanates, the new self, the new soul, the new swells into manhood, like big potatoes.
So there we are. But considering man at his best, he is at the start faced with the great problem. At the very start he has to undertake his tripartite being, the mother within him, the father within him, and the Holy Ghost, the self which he is supposed to consummate, and which mostly he doesn't.
And there it is, a hard physiological fact. At the moment of our conception, the father nucleus fuses with the mother nucleus, and the wonder emanates, the new self, the new soul, the new individual cell. But in the new individual cell the father-germ and the mother-germ do not relinquish their identity. There they remain still, incorporated and never extinguished. And so, the blood-stream of race is one stream, for ever. But the moment the mystery of pure individual newness ceased to be enacted and fulfilled, the blood-stream would dry up and be finished. Mankind would die out.
Let us go back then to the solar plexus. There sparkle the included mother-germ and father-germ, giving us direct, immediate blood-bonds, family connection. The connection is as direct and as subtle as between the Marconi stations, two great wireless stations. A family, if you like, is a group of wireless stations, all adjusted to the same, or very much the same vibration. All the time they quiver with the interchange, there is one long endless flow of vitalistic communication between members of one family, a long, strange rapport, a sort of life-unison. It is a ripple of life through many bodies as through one body. But all the time there is the jolt, the rupture of individualism, the individual asserting himself beyond all ties or claims. The highest goal for every man is the goal of pure individual being. But it is a goal you cannot reach by the mere rupture of all ties. A child isn't born by being torn from the womb. When it is born by natural process that is rupture enough. But even then the ties are not broken. They are only subtilized.
From the solar plexus first of all pass the great vitalistic communications between child and parents, the first interplay of primal, pre-mental knowledge and sympathy. It is a great subtle interplay, and from this interplay the child is built up, body and psyche. Impelled from the primal conscious center in the abdomen, the child seeks the mother, seeks the breast, opens a blind mouth and gropes for the nipple. Not mentally directed and yet certainly directed. Directed from the dark pre-mind center of the solar plexus. From this center the child seeks, the mother knows. Hence the true mindlessness of the pristine, healthy mother. She does not need to think, mentally to know. She knows so profoundly and actively at the great abdominal life-center.
But if the child thus seeks the mother, does it then know the mother alone? To an infant the mother is the whole universe. Yet the child needs more than the mother. It needs as well the presence of men, the vibration from the present body of the man. There may not be any actual, palpable connection. But from the great voluntary center in the man pass unknowable communications and unreliable nourishment of the stream of manly blood, rays which we cannot see, and which so far we have refused to know, but none the less essential, quickening dark rays which pass from the great dark abdominal life-center in the father to the corresponding center in the child. And these rays, these vibrations, are not like the mother-vibrations. Far, far from it. They do not need the actual contact, the handling and the caressing. On the contrary, the true male instinct is to avoid physical contact with a baby. It may not need even actual presence. But present or absent, there should be between the baby and the father that strange, intangible communication, that strange pull and circuit such as the magnetic pole exercises upon a needle, a vitalistic pull and flow which lays all the life-plasm of the baby into the line of vital quickening, strength, knowing. And any lack of this vital circuit, this vital interchange between father and child, man and child, means an inevitable impoverishment to the infant.
The child exists in the interplay of two great life-waves, the womanly and the male. In appearance, the mother is everything. In truth, the father has actively very little part. It does not matter much if he hardly sees his child. Yet see it he should, sometimes, and touch it sometimes, and renew with it the connection, the life-circuit, not allow it to lapse, and so vitally starve his child.
But remember, dear reader, please, that there is not the slightest need for you to believe me, or even read me. Remember, it's just your own affair. Don't implicate me.
PLEXUSES, PLANES AND SO ON
The primal consciousness in man is pre-mental, and has nothing to do with cognition. It is the same as in the animals. And this pre-mental consciousness remains as long as we live the powerful root and body of our consciousness. The mind is but the last flower, the cul de sac.
The first seat of our primal consciousnesses the solar plexus, the great nerve-center situated behind the stomach. From this center we are first dynamically conscious. For the primal consciousness is always dynamic, and never, like mental consciousness, static. Thought, let us say what we will about its magic powers, is instrumental only, the soul's finest instrument for the business of living. Thought is just a means to action and living. But life and action take rise actually at the great centers of dynamic consciousness.
The solar plexus, the greatest and most important center of our dynamic consciousness, is a sympathetic center. At this main center of your first-mind we know as we can never mentally know. Primarily we know, each man, each living creature knows, profoundly and satisfactorily and without question, that I am I. This root of all knowledge and being is established in the solar plexus; it is dynamic, pre-mental knowledge, such as cannot be transferred into thought. Do not ask me to transfer the pre-mental dynamic knowledge into thought. It cannot be done. The knowledge that I am I can never be thought: only known.
This being the very first term of our life-knowledge, a knowledge established physically and psychically the moment the two parent nuclei fused, at the moment of the conception, it remains integral as a piece of knowledge in every subsequent nucleus derived from this one original. But yet the original nucleus, formed from the two parent nuclei at our conception, remains always primal and central, and is always the original fount and home of the first and supreme knowledge that I am I. This original nucleus is embodied in the solar plexus.
But the original nucleus divides. The first division, as science knows, is a division of recoil. From the perfect oneing of the two parent nuclei in the egg-cell results a recoil or new assertion. That which was perfect one now divides again, and in the recoil becomes again two.
This second nucleus, the nucleus born of recoil, is the nuclear origin of all the great nuclei of the voluntary system, which are the nuclei of assertive individualism. And it remains central in the adult human body as it was in the egg-cell. In the adult human body the first nucleus of independence, first-born from the great original nucleus of our conception, lies always established in the lumbar ganglion. Here we have our positive center of independence, in a multifarious universe.
At the solar plexus, the dynamic knowledge is this, that I am I. The solar plexus is the center of all the sympathetic system. The great prime knowledge is sympathetic in nature. I am I, in vital centrality. I am I, the vital center of all things. I am I, the clew to the whole. All is one with me. It is the one identity.
But at the lumbar ganglion, which is the center of separate identity, the knowledge is of a different mode, though the term is the same. At the lumbar ganglion I know that I am I, in distinction from a whole universe, which is not as I am. This is the first tremendous flash of knowledge of singleness and separate identity. I am I, not because I am at one with all the universe, but because I am other than all the universe. It is my distinction from all the rest of things which makes me myself. Because I am set utterly apart and distinguished from all that is the rest of the universe, therefore I am I. And this root of our knowledge in separateness lies rooted all the time in the lumbar ganglion. It is the second term of our dynamic psychic existence.
It is from the great sympathetic center of the solar plexus that the child rejoices in the mother and in its own blissful centrality, its unison with the as yet unknown universe. Look at the pictures of Madonna and Child, and you will even see it. It is from this center that it draws all things unto itself, winningly, drawing love for the soul, and actively drawing in milk. The same center controls the great intake of love and of milk, of psychic and of physical nourishment.
And it is from the great voluntary center of the lumbar ganglion that the child asserts its distinction from the mother, the single identity of its own existence, and its power over its surroundings. From this center issues the violent little pride and lustiness which kicks with glee, or crows with tiny exultance in its own being, or which claws the breast with a savage little rapacity, and an incipient masterfulness of which every mother is aware. This incipient mastery, this sheer joy of a young thing in its own single existence, the marvelous playfulness of early youth, and the roguish mockery of the mother's love, as well as the bursts of temper and rage, all belong to infancy. And all this flashes spontaneously, must flash spontaneously from the first great center of independence, the powerful lumbar ganglion, great dynamic center of all the voluntary system, of all the spirit of pride and joy in independent existence. And it is from this center too that the milk is urged away down the infant bowels, urged away towards excretion. The motion is the same, but here it applies to the material, not to the vital relation. It is from the lumbar ganglion that the dynamic vibrations are emitted which thrill from the stomach and bowels, and promote the excremental function of digestion. It is the solar plexus which controls the assimilatory function in digestion.
So, in the first division of the egg-cell is set up the first plane of psychic and physical life, remaining radically the same throughout the whole existence of the individual. The two original nuclei of the egg-cell remain the same two original nuclei within the corpus of the adult individual. Their psychic and their physical dynamic is the same in the solar plexus and lumbar ganglion as in the two nuclei of the egg-cell. The first great division in the egg remains always the same, the unchanging great division in the psychic and the physical structure; the unchanging great division in knowledge and function. It is a division into polarized duality, psychical and physical, of the human being. It is the great vertical division of the egg-cell, and of the nature of man.
Then, this division having taken place, there is a new thrill of conjunction or collision between the divided nuclei, and at once the second birth takes place. The two nuclei now split horizontally. There is a horizontal division across the whole egg-cell, and the nuclei are now four, two above, and two below. But those below retain their original nature, those above are new in nature. And those above correspond again to those below.
In the developed child, the great horizontal division of the egg-cell, resulting in four nuclei, this remains the same. The horizontal division-wall is the diaphragm. The two upper nuclei are the two great nerve-centers, the cardiac plexus and the thoracic ganglion. We have again a sympathetic center primal in activity and knowledge, and a corresponding voluntary center. In the center of the breast, the cardiac plexus acts as the great sympathetic mode of new dynamic activity, new dynamic consciousness. And near the spine, by the wall of the shoulders, the thoracic ganglion acts as the powerful voluntary center of separateness and power, in the same vertical line as the lumbar ganglion, but horizontally so different.
Now we must change our whole feeling. We must put off the deep way of understanding which belongs to the lower body of our nature, and transfer ourselves into the upper plane, where being and functioning are different.
At the cardiac plexus, there in the center of the breast, we have now a new great sun of knowledge and being. Here there is no more of self. Here there is no longer the dark, exultant knowledge that I am I. A change has come. Here I know no more of myself. Here I am not. Here I only know the delightful revelation that you are you. The wonder is no longer within me, my own dark, centrifugal, exultant self. The wonder is without me. The wonder is outside me. And I can no longer exult and know myself the dark, central sun of the universe. Now I look with wonder, with tenderness, with joyful yearning towards that which is outside me, beyond me, not me. Behold, that which was once negative has now become the only positive. The other being is now the great positive reality, I myself am as nothing. Positivity has changed places.
If we want to see the portrayed look, then we must turn to the North, to the fair, wondering, blue-eyed infants of the Northern masters. They seem so frail, so innocent and wondering, touching outwards to the mystery. They are not the same as the Southern child, nor the opposite. Their whole life mystery is different. Instead of consummating all things within themselves, as the dark little Southern infants do, the Northern Jesus-children reach out delicate little hands of wondering innocence towards delicate, flower-reverential mothers. Compare a Botticelli Madonna, with all her wounded and abnegating sensuality, with a Hans Memling Madonna, whose soul is pure and only reverential. Beyond me is the mystery and the glory, says the Northern mother: let me have no self, let me only seek that which is all-pure, all-wonderful. But the Southern mother says: This is mine, this is mine, this is my child, my wonder, my master, my lord, my scourge, my own.
From the cardiac plexus the child goes forth in bliss. It seeks the revelation of the unknown. It wonderingly seeks the mother. It opens its small hands and spreads its small fingers to touch her. And bliss, bliss, bliss, it meets the wonder in mid-air and in mid-space it finds the loveliness of the mother's face. It opens and shuts its little fingers with bliss, it laughs the wonderful, selfless laugh of pure baby-bliss, in the first ecstasy of finding all its treasure, groping upon it and finding it in the dark. It opens wide, child-wide eyes to see, to see. But it cannot see. It is puzzled, it wrinkles its face. But when the mother puts her face quite near, and laughs and coos, then the baby trembles with an ecstasy of love. The glamour, the wonder, the treasure beyond. The great uplift of rapture. All this surges from that first center of the breast, the sun of the breast, the cardiac plexus.
And from the same center acts the great function of the heart and breath. Ah, the aspiration, the aspiration, like a hope, like a yearning constant and unfailing with which we take in breath. When we breathe, when we take in breath, it is not as when we take in food. When we breathe in we aspire, we yearn towards the heaven of air and light. And when the heart dilates to draw in the stream of dark blood, it opens its arms as to a beloved. It dilates with reverent joy, as a host opening his doors to an honored guest, whom he delights to serve: opening his doors to the wonder which comes to him from beyond, and without which he were nothing.
So it is that our heart dilates, our lungs expand. They are bidden by that great and mysterious impulse from the cardiac plexus, which bids them seek the mystery and the fulfillment of the beyond. They seek the beyond, the air of the sky, the hot blood from the dark under-world. And so we live.
And then, they relax, they contract. They are driven by the opposite motion from the powerful voluntary center of the thoracic ganglion.. That which was drawn in, was invited, is now relinquished, allowed to go forth, negatively. Not positively dismissed, but relinquished.
There is a wonderful complementary duality between the voluntary and the sympathetic activity on the same plane. But between the two planes, upper and lower, there is a further dualism, still more startling, perhaps. Between the dark, glowing first term of knowledge at the solar plexus: I am I, all is one in me; and the first term of volitional knowledge: I am myself, and these others are not as I am;—there is a world of difference. But when the world changes again, and on the upper plane we realize the wonder of other things, the difference is almost shattering. The thoracic ganglion is a ganglion of power. When the child in its delicate bliss seeks the mother and finds her and is added on to her, then it fulfills itself in the great upper sympathetic mode. But then it relinquishes her. It ceases to be aware of her. And if she tries to force its love to play upon her again, like light revealing her to herself, then the child turns away. Or it will lie, and look at her with the strange, odd, curious look of knowledge, like a little imp who is spying her out. This is the curious look that many mothers cannot bear. Involuntarily it arouses a sort of hate in them—the look of scrutinizing curiosity, apart, and as it were studying, balancing them up. Yet it is a look which comes into every child's eyes. It is the reaction of the great voluntary plexus between the shoulders. The mother is suddenly set apart, as an object of curiosity, coldly, sometimes dreamily, sometimes puzzled, sometimes mockingly observed.
Again, if a mother neglect her child, it cries, it weeps for her love and attention. Its pitiful lament is one of the forms of compulsion from the upper center. This insistence on pity, on love, is quite different from the rageous weeping, which is compulsion from the lower center, below the diaphragm. Again, some children just drop everything they can lay hands on over the edge of their crib, or their table. They drop everything out of sight. And then they look up with a curious look of negative triumph. This is again a form of recoil from the upper center, the obliteration of the thing which is outside. And here a child is acting quite differently from the child who joyously smashes. The desire to smash comes from the lower centers.
We can quite well recognize the will exerted from the lower center. We call it headstrong temper and masterfulness. But the peculiar will of the upper center—the sort of nervous, critical objectivity, the deliberate forcing of sympathy, the play upon pity and tenderness, the plaintive bullying of love, or the benevolent bullying of love—these we don't care to recognize. They are the extravagance of spiritual will. But in its true harmony the thoracic ganglion is a center of happier activity: of real, eager curiosity, of the delightful desire to pick things to pieces, and the desire to put them together again, the desire to "find out," and the desire to invent: all this arises on the upper plane, at the volitional center of the thoracic ganglion.
TREES AND BABIES AND PAPAS AND MAMAS
Oh, damn the miserable baby with its complicated ping-pong table of an unconscious. I'm sure, dear reader, you'd rather have to listen to the brat howling in its crib than to me expounding its plexuses. As for "mixing those babies up," I'd mix him up like a shot if I'd anything to mix him with. Unfortunately he's my own anatomical specimen of a pickled rabbit, so there's nothing to be done with the bits.
But he gets on my nerves. I come out solemnly with a pencil and an exercise book, and take my seat in all gravity at the foot of a large fir-tree, and wait for thoughts to come, gnawing like a squirrel on a nut. But the nut's hollow.
I think there are too many trees. They seem to crowd round and stare at me, and I feel as if they nudged one another when I'm not looking. I can feel them standing there. And they won't let me get on about the baby this morning. Just their cussedness. I felt they encouraged me like a harem of wonderful silent wives, yesterday.
It is half rainy too—the wood so damp and still and so secret, in the remote morning air. Morning, with rain in the sky, and the forest subtly brooding, and me feeling no bigger than a pea-bug between the roots of my fir. The trees seem so much bigger than me, so much stronger in life, prowling silent around. I seem to feel them moving and thinking and prowling, and they overwhelm me. Ah, well, the only thing is to give way to them.
It is the edge of the Black Forest—sometimes the Rhine far off, on its Rhine plain, like a bit of magnesium ribbon. But not to-day. To-day only trees, and leaves, and vegetable presences. Huge straight fir-trees, and big beech-trees sending rivers of roots into the ground. And cuckoos, like noise falling in drops off the leaves. And me, a fool, sitting by a grassy wood-road with a pencil and a book, hoping to write more about that baby.
Never mind. I listen again for noises, and I smell the damp moss. The looming trees, so straight. And I listen for their silence. Big, tall-bodied trees, with a certain magnificent cruelty about them. Or barbarity. I don't know why I should say cruelty. Their magnificent, strong, round bodies! It almost seems I can hear the slow, powerful sap drumming in their trunks. Great full-blooded trees, with strange tree-blood in them, soundlessly drumming.
Trees that have no hands and faces, no eyes. Yet the powerful sap-scented blood roaring up the great columns. A vast individual life, and an overshadowing will. The will of a tree. Something that frightens you.
Suppose you want to look a tree in the face? You can't. It hasn't got a face. You look at the strong body of a trunk: you look above you into the matted body-hair of twigs and boughs: you see the soft green tips. But there are no eyes to look into, you can't meet its gaze. You keep on looking at it in part and parcel.
It's no good looking at a tree, to know it. The only thing is to sit among the roots and nestle against its strong trunk, and not bother. That's how I write all about these planes and plexuses, between the toes of a tree, forgetting myself against the great ankle of the trunk. And then, as a rule, as a squirrel is stroked into its wickedness by the faceless magic of a tree, so am I usually stroked into forgetfulness, and into scribbling this book. My tree-book, really.
I come so well to understand tree-worship. All the old Aryans worshiped the tree. My ancestors. The tree of life. The tree of knowledge. Well, one is bound to sprout out some time or other, chip of the old Aryan block. I can so well understand tree-worship. And fear the deepest motive.
Naturally. This marvelous vast individual without a face, without lips or eyes or heart. This towering creature that never had a face. Here am I between his toes like a pea-bug, and him noiselessly over-reaching me. And I feel his great blood-jet surging. And he has no eyes. But he turns two ways. He thrusts himself tremendously down to the middle earth, where dead men sink in darkness, in the damp, dense under-soil, and he turns himself about in high air. Whereas we have eyes on one side of our head only, and only grow upwards.
Plunging himself down into the black humus, with a root's gushing zest, where we can only rot dead; and his tips in high air, where we can only look up to. So vast and powerful and exultant in his two directions. And all the time, he has no face, no thought: only a huge, savage, thoughtless soul. Where does he even keep his soul?—Where does anybody?
A huge, plunging, tremendous soul. I would like to be a tree for a while. The great lust of roots. Root-lust. And no mind at all. He towers, and I sit and feel safe. I like to feel him towering round me. I used to be afraid. I used to fear their lust, their rushing black lust. But now I like it, I worship it. I always felt them huge primeval enemies. But now they are my only shelter and strength. I lose myself among the trees. I am so glad to be with them in their silent, intent passion, and their great lust. They feed my soul. But I can understand that Jesus was crucified on a tree.
And I can so well understand the Romans, their terror of the bristling Hercynian wood. Yet when you look from a height down upon the rolling of the forest—this Black Forest—it is as suave as a rolling, oily sea. Inside only, it bristles horrific. And it terrified the Romans.
The Romans! They too seem very near. Nearer than Hindenburg or Foch or even Napoleon. When I look across the Rhine plain, it is Rome, and the legionaries of the Rhine that my soul notices. It must have been wonderful to come from South Italy to the shores of this sea-like forest: this dark, moist forest, with its enormously powerful intensity of tree life. Now I know, coming myself from rock-dry Sicily, open to the day.
The Romans and the Greeks found everything human. Everything had a face, and a human voice. Men spoke, and their fountains piped an answer.
But when the legions crossed the Rhine they found a vast impenetrable life which had no voice. They met the faceless silence of the Black Forest. This huge, huge wood did not answer when they called. Its silence was too crude and massive. And the soldiers shrank: shrank before the trees that had no faces, and no answer. A vast array of non-human life, darkly self-sufficient, and bristling with indomitable energy. The Hercynian wood, not to be fathomed. The enormous power of these collective trees, stronger in their somber life even than Rome.
No wonder the soldiers were terrified. No wonder they thrilled with horror when, deep in the woods, they found the skulls and trophies of their dead comrades upon the trees. The trees had devoured them: silently, in mouthfuls, and left the white bones. Bones of the mindful Romans—and savage, preconscious trees, indomitable. The true German has something of the sap of trees in his veins even now: and a sort of pristine savageness, like trees, helpless, but most powerful, under all his mentality. He is a tree-soul, and his gods are not human. His instinct still is to nail skulls and trophies to the sacred tree, deep in the forest. The tree of life and death, tree of good and evil, tree of abstraction and of immense, mindless life; tree of everything except the spirit, spirituality.
But after bone-dry Sicily, and after the gibbering of myriad people all rattling their personalities, I am glad to be with the profound indifference of faceless trees. Their rudimentariness cannot know why we care for the things we care for. They have no faces, no minds and bowels: only deep, lustful roots stretching in earth, and vast, lissome life in air, and primeval individuality. You can sacrifice the whole of your spirituality on their altar still. You can nail your skull on their limbs. They have no skulls, no minds nor faces, they can't make eyes of love at you. Their vast life dispenses with all this. But they will live you down.
The normal life of one of these big trees is about a hundred years. So the Herr Baron told me.
One of the few places that my soul will haunt, when I am dead, will be this. Among the trees here near Ebersteinburg, where I have been alone and written this book. I can't leave these trees. They have taken some of my soul.
* * * * *
Excuse my digression, gentle reader. At first I left it out, thinking we might not see wood for trees. But it doesn't much matter what we see. It's nice just to look round, anywhere.
So there are two planes of being and consciousness and two modes of relation and of function. We will call the lower plane the sensual, the upper the spiritual. The terms may be unwise, but we can think of no other.
Please read that again, dear reader; you'll be a bit dazzled, coming out of the wood.
It is obvious that from the time a child is born, or conceived, it has a permanent relation with the outer universe, relation in the two modes, not one mode only. There are two ways of love, two ways of activity and independence. And there needs some sort of equilibrium between the two modes. In the same way, in physical function there is eating and drinking, and excrementation, on the lower plane and respiration and heartbeat on the upper plane.
Now the equilibrium to be established is fourfold. There must be a true equilibrium between what we eat and what we reject again by excretion: likewise between the systole and diastole of the heart, the inspiration and expiration of our breathing. Suffice to say the equilibrium is never quite perfect. Most people are either too fat or too thin, too hot or too cold, too slow or too quick. There is no such thing as an actual norm, a living norm. A norm is merely an abstraction, not a reality.
The same on the psychical plane. We either love too much, or impose our will too much, are too spiritual or too sensual. There is not and cannot be any actual norm of human conduct. All depends, first, on the unknown inward need within the very nuclear centers of the individual himself, and secondly on his circumstance. Some men must be too spiritual, some must be too sensual. Some must be too sympathetic, and some must be too proud. We have no desire to say what men ought to be. We only wish to say there are all kinds of ways of being, and there is no such thing as human perfection. No man can be anything more than just himself, in genuine living relation to all his surroundings. But that which I am, when I am myself, will certainly be anathema to those who hate individual integrity, and want to swarm. And that which I, being myself, am in myself, may make the hair bristle with rage on a man who is also himself, but very different from me. Then let it bristle. And if mine bristle back again, then let us, if we must, fly at one another like two enraged men. It is how it should be. We've got to learn to live from the center of our own responsibility only, and let other people do the same.
To return to the child, however, and his development on his two planes of consciousness. There is all the time a direct dynamic connection between child and mother, child and father also, from the start. It is a connection on two planes, the upper and lower. From the lower sympathetic center the profound intake of love or vibration from the living co-respondent outside. From the upper sympathetic center the outgoing of devotion and the passionate vibration of given love, given attention. The two sympathetic centers are always, or should always be, counterbalanced by their corresponding voluntary centers. From the great voluntary ganglion of the lower plane, the child is self-willed, independent, and masterful.
In the activity of this center a boy refuses to be kissed and pawed about, maintaining his proud independence like a little wild animal. From this center he likes to command and to receive obedience. From this center likewise he may be destructive and defiant and reckless, determined to have his own way at any cost.
From this center, too, he learns to use his legs. The motion of walking, like the motion of breathing, is twofold. First, a sympathetic cleaving to the earth with the foot: then the voluntary rejection, the spurning, the kicking away, the exultance in power and freedom.
From the upper voluntary center the child watches persistently, wilfully, for the attention of the mother: to be taken notice of, to be caressed, in short to exist in and through the mother's attention. From this center, too, he coldly refuses to notice the mother, when she insists on too much attention. This cold refusal is different from the active rejection of the lower center. It is passive, but cold and negative. It is the great force of our day. From the ganglion of the shoulders, also, the child breathes and his heart beats. From the same center he learns the first use of his arms. In the gesture of sympathy, from the upper plane, he embraces his mother with his arms. In the motion of curiosity, or interest, which derives from the thoracic ganglion, he spreads his fingers, touches, feels, explores. In the motion of rejection he drops an undesired object deliberately out of sight.
And then, when the four centers of what we call the first field of consciousness are fully active, then it is that the eyes begin to gather their sight, the mouth to speak, the ears to awake to their intelligent hearings; all as a result of the great fourfold activity of the first dynamic field of consciousness. And then also, as a result, the mind wakens to its impressions and to its incipient control. For at first the control is non-mental, even non-cerebral. The brain acts only as a sort of switchboard.
The business of the father, in all this incipient child-development, is to stand outside as a final authority and make the necessary adjustments. Where there is too much sympathy, then the great voluntary centers of the spine are weak, the child tends to be delicate. Then the father by instinct supplies the roughness, the sternness which stiffens in the child the centers of resistance and independence, right from the very earliest days. Often, for a mere infant, it is the father's fierce or stern presence, the vibration of his voice, which starts the frictional and independent activity of the great voluntary ganglion and gives the first impulse to the independence which later on is life itself.
But on the other hand, the father, from his distance, supports, protects, nourishes his child, and it is ultimately on the remote but powerful father-love that the infant rests, in a rest which is beyond mother-love. For in the male the dominant centers are naturally the volitional centers, centers of responsibility, authority, and care.
It is the father's business, again, to maintain some sort of equilibrium between the two modes of love in his infant. A mother may wish to bring up her child from the lovely upper centers only, from the centers of the breast, in the mode of what we call pure or spiritual love. Then the child will be all gentle, all tender and tender-radiant, always enfolded with gentleness and forbearance, always shielded from grossness or pain or roughness. Now the father's instinct is to be rough and crude, good-naturedly brutal with the child, calling the deeper centers, the sensual centers, into play. "What do you want? My watch? Well, you can't have it, do you see, because it's mine." Not a lot of explanations of the "You see, darling." No such nonsense.—Or if a child wails unnecessarily for its mother, the father must be the check. "Stop your noise, you little brat! What ails you, you whiner?" And if children be too sensitive, too sympathetic, then it will do the child no harm if the father occasionally throws the cat out of the window, or kicks the dog, or raises a storm in the house. Storms there must be. And if the child is old enough and robust enough, it can occasionally have its bottom soundly spanked—by the father, if the mother refuses to perform that most necessary duty. For a child's bottom is made occasionally to be spanked. The vibration of the spanking acts direct upon the spinal nerve-system, there is a direct reciprocity and reaction, the spanker transfers his wrath to the great will-centers in the child, and these will-centers react intensely, are vivified and educated.
On the other hand, given a mother who is too generally hard or indifferent, then it rests with the father to provide the delicate sympathy and the refined discipline. Then the father must show the tender sensitiveness of the upper mode. The sad thing to-day is that so few mothers have any deep bowels of love—or even the breast of love. What they have is the benevolent spiritual will, the will of the upper self. But the will is not love. And benevolence in a parent is a poison. It is bullying. In these circumstances the father must give delicate adjustment, and, above all, some warm, native love from the richer sensual self.
The question of corporal punishment is important. It is no use roughly smacking a shrinking, sensitive child. And yet, if a child is too shrinking, too sensitive, it may do it a world of good cheerfully to spank its posterior. Not brutally, not cruelly, but with real sound, good-natured exasperation. And let the adult take the full responsibility, half humorously, without apology or explanation. Let us avoid self-justification at all costs. Real corporal punishments apply to the sensual plane. The refined punishments of the spiritual mode are usually much more indecent and dangerous than a good smack. The pained but resigned disapprobation of a mother is usually a very bad thing, much worse than the father's shouts of rage. And sendings to bed, and no dessert for a week, and so on, are crueller and meaner than a bang on the head. When a parent gives his boy a beating, there is a living passionate interchange. But in these refined punishments, the parent suffers nothing and the child is deadened. The bullying of the refined, benevolent spiritual will is simply vitriol to the soul. Yet parents administer it with all the righteousness of virtue and good intention, sparing themselves perfectly.
The point is here. If a child makes you so that you really want to spank it soundly, then soundly spank the brat. But know all the time what you are doing, and always be responsible for your anger. Never be ashamed of it, and never surpass it. The flashing interchange of anger between parent and child is part of the responsible relationship, necessary to growth. Again, if a child offends you deeply, so that you really can't communicate with it any more, then, while the hurt is deep, switch off your connection from the child, cut off your correspondence, your vital communion, and be alone. But never persist in such a state beyond the time when your deep hurt dies down. The only rule is, do what you really, impulsively, wish to do. But always act on your own responsibility sincerely. And have the courage of your own strong emotion. They enrichen the child's soul.
For a child's primary education depends almost entirely on its relation to its parents, brothers, and sisters. Between mother and child, father and child, the law is this: I, the mother, am myself alone: the child is itself alone. But there exists between us a vital dynamic relation, for which I, being the conscious one, am basically responsible. So, as far as possible, there must be in me no departure from myself, lest I injure the preconscious dynamic relation. I must absolutely act according to my own true spontaneous feeling. But, moreover, I must also have wisdom for myself and for my child. Always, always the deep wisdom of responsibility. And always a brave responsibility for the soul's own spontaneity. Love—what is love? We'd better get a new idea. Love is, in all, generous impulse—even a good spanking. But wisdom is something else, a deep collectedness in the soul, a deep abiding by my own integral being, which makes me responsible, not for the child, but for my certain duties towards the child, and for maintaining the dynamic flow between the child and myself as genuine as possible: that is to say, not perverted by ideals or by my will.
Most fatal, most hateful of all things is bullying. But what is bullying? It is a desire to superimpose my own will upon another person. Sensual bullying of course is fairly easily detected. What is more dangerous is ideal bullying. Bullying people into what is ideally good for them. I embrace for example an ideal, and I seek to enact this ideal in the person of another. This is ideal bullying. A mother says that life should be all love, all delicacy and forbearance and gentleness. And she proceeds to spin a hateful sticky web of permanent forbearance, gentleness, hushedness around her naturally passionate and hasty child. This so foils the child as to make him half imbecile or criminal. I may have ideals if I like—even of love and forbearance and meekness. But I have no right to ask another to have these ideals. And to impose any ideals upon a child as it grows is almost criminal. It results in impoverishment and distortion and subsequent deficiency. In our day, most dangerous is the love and benevolence ideal. It results in neurasthenia, which is largely a dislocation or collapse of the great voluntary centers, a derangement of the will. It is in us an insistence upon the one life-mode only, the spiritual mode. It is a suppression of the great lower centers, and a living a sort of half-life, almost entirely from the upper centers. Thence, since we live terribly and exhaustively from the upper centers, there is a tendency now towards pthisis and neurasthenia of the heart. The great sympathetic center of the breast becomes exhausted, the lungs, burnt by the over-insistence of one way of life, become diseased, the heart, strained in one mode of dilation, retaliates. The powerful lower centers are no longer fully active, particularly the great lumbar ganglion, which is the clue to our sensual passionate pride and independence, this ganglion is atrophied by suppression. And it is this ganglion which holds the spine erect. So, weak-chested, round-shouldered, we stoop hollowly forward on ourselves. It is the result of the all-famous love and charity ideal, an ideal now quite dead in its sympathetic activity, but still fixed and determined in its voluntary action.
Let us beware and beware, and beware of having a high ideal for ourselves. But particularly let us beware of having an ideal for our children. So doing, we damn them. All we can have is wisdom. And wisdom is not a theory, it is a state of soul. It is the state wherein we know our wholeness and the complicate, manifold nature of our being. It is the state wherein we know the great relations which exist between us and our near ones. And it is the state which accepts full responsibility, first for our own souls, and then for the living dynamic relations wherein we have our being. It is no use expecting the other person to know. Each must know for himself. But nowadays men have even a stunt of pretending that children and idiots alone know best. This is a pretty piece of sophistry, and criminal cowardice, trying to dodge the life-responsibility which no man or woman can dodge without disaster.
The only thing is to be direct. If a child has to swallow castor-oil, then say: "Child, you've got to swallow this castor-oil. It is necessary for your inside. I say so because it is true. So open your mouth." Why try coaxing and logic and tricks with children? Children are more sagacious than we are. They twig soon enough if there is a flaw in our own intention and our own true spontaneity. And they play up to our bit of falsity till there is hell to pay.
"You love mother, don't you, dear?"—Just a piece of indecent trickery of the spiritual will. The great emotions like love are unspoken. Speaking them is a sign of an indecent bullying will.
"Poor pussy! You must love poor pussy!"
What cant! What sickening cant! An appeal to love based on false pity. That's the way to inculcate a filthy pharisaic conceit into a child.—If the child ill-treats the cat, say:
"Stop mauling that cat. It's got its own life to live, so let it live it." Then if the brat persists, give tit for tat.
"What, you pull the cat's tail! Then I'll pull your nose, to see how you like it." And give his nose a proper hard pinch.
Children must pull the cat's tail a little. Children must steal the sugar sometimes. They must occasionally spoil just the things one doesn't want them to spoil. And they must occasionally tell stories—tell a lie. Circumstances and life are such that we must all sometimes tell a lie: just as we wear trousers, because we don't choose that everybody shall see our nakedness. Morality is a delicate act of adjustment on the soul's part, not a rule or a prescription. Beyond a certain point the child shall not pull the cat's tail, or steal the sugar, or spoil the furniture, or tell lies. But I'm afraid you can't fix this certain soul's humor. And so it must. If at a sudden point you fly into a temper and thoroughly beat the boy for hardly touching the cat—well, that's life. All you've got to say to him is: "There, that'll serve you for all the times you have pulled her tail and hurt her." And he will feel outraged, and so will you. But what does it matter? Children have an infinite understanding of the soul's passionate variabilities, and forgive even a real injustice, if it was spontaneous and not intentional. They know we aren't perfect. What they don't forgive us is if we pretend we are: or if we bully.
THE FIVE SENSES
Science is wretched in its treatment of the human body as a sort of complex mechanism made up of numerous little machines working automatically in a rather unsatisfactory relation to one another. The body is the total machine; the various organs are the included machines; and the whole thing, given a start at birth, or at conception, trundles on by itself. The only god in the machine, the human will or intelligence, is absolutely at the mercy of the machine.
Such is the orthodox view. Soul, when it is allowed an existence at all, sits somewhat vaguely within the machine, never defined. If anything goes wrong with the machine, why, the soul is forgotten instantly. We summon the arch-mechanic of our day, the medicine-man. And a marvelous earnest fraud he is, doing his best. He is really wonderful as a mechanic of the human system. But the life within us fails more and more, while we marvelously tinker at the engines. Doctors are not to blame.
It is obvious that, even considering the human body as a very delicate and complex machine, you cannot keep such a machine running for one day without most exact central control. Still more is it impossible to consider the automatic evolution of such a machine. When did any machine, even a single spinning-wheel, automatically evolve itself? There was a god in the machine before the machine existed.
So there we are with the human body. There must have been, and must be a central god in the machine of each animate corpus. The little soul of the beetle makes the beetle toddle. The little soul of the homo sapiens sets him on his two feet. Don't ask me to define the soul. You might as well ask a bicycle to define the young damsel who so whimsically and so god-like pedals her way along the highroad. A young lady skeltering off on her bicycle to meet her young man—why, what could the bicycle make of such a mystery, if you explained it till doomsday. Yet the bicycle wouldn't be spinning from Streatham to Croydon by itself.
So we may as well settle down to the little god in the machine. We may as well call it the individual soul, and leave it there. It's as far as the bicycle would ever get, if it had to define Mademoiselle. But be sure the bicycle would not deny the existence of the young miss who seats herself in the saddle. Not like us, who try to pretend there is no one in the saddle. Why even the sun would no more spin without a rider than would a cycle-pedal. But, since we have innumerable planets to reckon with, in the spinning we must not begin to define the rider in terms of our own exclusive planet. Nevertheless, rider there is: even a rider of the many-wheeled universe.
But let us leave the universe alone. It is too big a bauble for me.—Revenons.—At the start of me there is me. There is a mysterious little entity which is my individual self, the god who builds the machine and then makes his gay excursion of seventy years within it. Now we are talking at the moment about the machine. For the moment we are the bicycle, and not the feather-brained cyclist. So that all we can do is to define the cyclist in terms of ourself. A bicycle could say: Here, upon my leather saddle, rests a strange and animated force, which I call the force of gravity, as being the one great force which controls my universe. And yet, on second thoughts, I must modify myself. This great force of gravity is not always in the saddle. Sometimes it just is not there—and I lean strangely against a wall. I have been even known to turn upside down, with my wheels in the air; spun by the same mysterious Miss. So that I must introduce a theory of Relativity. However, mostly, when I am awake and alive, she is in the saddle; or it is in the saddle, the mysterious force. And when it is in the saddle, then two subsidiary forces plunge and claw upon my two pedals, plunge and claw with inestimable power. And at the same time, a kind and mysterious force sways my head-stock, sways most incalculably, and governs my whole motion. This force is not a driving force, but a subtle directing force, beneath whose grip my bright steel body is flexible as a dipping highroad. Then let me not forget the sudden clutch of arrest upon my hurrying wheels. Oh, this is pain to me! While I am rushing forward, surpassing myself in an elan vital, suddenly the awful check grips my back wheel, or my front wheel, or both. Suddenly there is a fearful arrest. My soul rushes on before my body, I feel myself strained, torn back. My fibers groan. Then perhaps the tension relaxes.
So the bicycle will continue to babble about itself. And it will inevitably wind up with a philosophy. "Oh, if only the great and divine force rested for ever upon my saddle, and if only the mysterious will which sways my steering gear remained in place for ever: then my pedals would revolve of themselves, and never cease, and no hideous brake should tear the perpetuity of my motions. Then, oh then I should be immortal. I should leap through the world for ever, and spin to infinity, till I was identified with the dizzy and timeless cycle-race of the stars and the great sun...."
Poor old bicycle. The very thought is enough to start a philanthropic society for the prevention of cruelty to bicycles.
Well, then, our human body is the bicycle. And our individual and incomprehensible self is the rider thereof. And seeing that the universe is another bicycle riding full tilt, we are bound to suppose a rider for that also. But we needn't say what sort of rider. When I see a cockroach scuttling across the floor and turning up its tail I stand affronted, and think: A rum sort of rider you must have. You've no business to have such a rider, do you hear?—And when I hear the monotonous and plaintive cuckoo in the June woods, I think: Who the devil made that clock?—And when I see a politician making a fiery speech on a platform, and the crowd gawping, I think: Lord, save me—they've all got riders. But Holy Moses! you could never guess what was coming.—And so I shouldn't like, myself, to start guessing about the rider of the universe. I am all too flummoxed by the masquerade in the tourney round about me.
We ourselves then: wisdom, like charity, begins at home. We've each of us got a rider in the saddle: an individual soul. Mostly it can't ride, and can't steer, so mankind is like squadrons of bicycles running amok. We should every one fall off if we didn't ride so thick that we hold each other up. Horrid nightmare!
As for myself, I have a horror of riding en bloc. So I grind away uphill, and sweat my guts out, as they say.
Well, well—my body is my bicycle: the whole middle of me is the saddle where sits the rider of my soul. And my front wheel is the cardiac plane, and my back wheel is the solar plexus. And the brakes are the voluntary ganglia. And the steering gear is my head. And the right and left pedals are the right and left dynamics of the body, in some way corresponding to the sympathetic and voluntary division.
So that now I know more or less how my rider rides me, and from what centers controls me. That is, I know the points of vital contact between my rider and my machine: between my invisible and my visible self. I don't attempt to say what is my rider. A bicycle might as well try to define its young Miss by wriggling its handle-bars and ringing its bell.
However, having more or less determined the four primary motions, we can see the further unfolding. In a child, the solar plexus and the cardiac plexus, with corresponding voluntary ganglia, are awake and active. From these centers develop the great functions of the body.
As we have seen, it is the solar plexus, with the lumbar ganglion, which controls the great dynamic system, the functioning of the liver and the kidneys. Any excess in the sympathetic dynamism tends to accelerate the action of the liver, to cause fever and constipation. Any collapse of the sympathetic dynamism causes anaemia. The sudden stimulating of the voluntary center may cause diarrhoea, and so on. But all this depends so completely on the polarized flow between the individual and the correspondent, between the child and mother, child and father, child and sisters or brothers or teacher, or circumambient universe, that it is impossible to lay down laws, unless we state particulars. Nevertheless, the whole of the great organs of the lower body are controlled from the two lower centers, and these organs work well or ill according as there is a true dynamic psychic activity at the two primary centers of consciousness. By a true dynamic psychic activity we mean an activity which is true to the individual himself, to his own peculiar soul-nature. And a dynamic psychic activity means a dynamic polarity between the individual himself and other individuals concerned in his living; or between him and his immediate surroundings, human, physical, geographical.
On the upper plane, the lungs and heart are controlled from the cardiac plane and the thoracic ganglion. Any excess in the sympathetic mode from the upper centers tends to burn the lungs with oxygen, weaken them with stress, and cause consumption. So it is just criminal to make a child too loving. No child should be induced to love too much. It means derangement and death at last.
But beyond the primary physiological function—and it is the business of doctors to discover the relation between the functioning of the primary organs and the dynamic psychic activity at the four primary consciousness-centers,—beyond these physical functions, there are the activities which are half-psychic, half-functional. Such as the five senses.
Of the five senses, four have their functioning in the face-region. The fifth, the sense of touch, is distributed all over the body. But all have their roots in the four great primary centers of consciousness. From the constellation of your nerve-nodes, from the great field of your poles, the nerves run out in every direction, ending on the surface of the body. Inwardly this is an inextricable ramification and communication.
And yet the body is planned out in areas, there is a definite area-control from the four centers. On the back the sense of touch is not acute. There the voluntary centers act in resistance. But in the front of the body, the breast is one great field of sympathetic touch, the belly is another. On these two fields the stimulus of touch is quite different, has a quite different psychic quality and psychic result. The breast-touch is the fine alertness of quivering curiosity, the belly-touch is a deep thrill of delight and avidity. Correspondingly, the hands and arms are instruments of superb delicate curiosity, and deliberate execution. Through the elbows and the wrists flows the dynamic psychic current, and a dislocation in the current between two individuals will cause a feeling of dislocation at the wrists and elbows. On the lower plane, the legs and feet are instruments of unfathomable gratifications and repudiations. The thighs, the knees, the feet are intensely alive with love-desire, darkly and superbly drinking in the love-contact, blindly. Or they are the great centers of resistance, kicking, repudiating. Sudden flushing of great general sympathetic desire will make a man feel weak at the knees. Hatred will harden the tension of the knees like steel, and grip the feet like talons. Thus the fields of touch are four, two sympathetic fields in front of the body from the throat to the feet, two resistant fields behind from the neck to the heels.
There are two fields of touch, however, where the distribution is not so simple: the face and the buttocks. Neither in the face nor in the buttocks is there one single mode of sense communication.
The face is of course the great window of the self, the great opening of the self upon the world, the great gateway. The lower body has its own gates of exit. But the bulk of our communication with all the outer universe goes on through the face.
And every one of the windows or gates of the face has its direct communication with each of the four great centers of the first field of consciousness. Take the mouth, with the sense of taste. The mouth is primarily the gate of the two chief sensual centers. It is the gateway to the belly and the loins. Through the mouth we eat and we drink. In the mouth we have the sense of taste. At the lips, too, we kiss. And the kiss of the mouth is the first sensual connection.
In the mouth also are the teeth. And the teeth are the instruments of our sensual will. The growth of the teeth is controlled entirely from the two great sensual centers below the diaphragm. But almost entirely from the one center, the voluntary center. The growth and the life of the teeth depend almost entirely on the lumbar ganglion. During the growth of the teeth the sympathetic mode is held in abeyance. There is a sort of arrest. There is pain, there is diarrhoea, there is misery for the baby.
And we, in our age, have no rest with our teeth. Our mouths are too small. For many ages we have been suppressing the avid, negroid, sensual will. We have been converting ourselves into ideal creatures, all spiritually conscious, and active dynamically only on one plane, the upper, spiritual plane. Our mouth has contracted, our teeth have become soft and un-quickened. Where in us are the sharp and vivid teeth of the wolf, keen to defend and devour? If we had them more, we should be happier. Where are the white negroid teeth? Where? In our little pinched mouths they have no room. We are sympathy-rotten, and spirit-rotten, and idea-rotten. We have forfeited our flashing sensual power. And we have false teeth in our mouths. In the same way the lips of our sensual desire go thinner and more meaningless, in the compression of our upper will and our idea-driven impulse. Let us break the conscious, self-conscious love-ideal, and we shall grow strong, resistant teeth once more, and the teething of our young will not be the hell it is.