Esotericism (LXI): Ouspensky’s last days (6): the Fantastic!

Esotericism (LXI): Ouspensky’s last days (6): the Fantastic!

- in Esotericism

1. As September moved to its end the atmosphere became more intense and “strange things began to happen, miracles became as much a part of the day as eating or sleep”. Thus one morning Miss R perceived the individual people present “as in some way representing planets… as they are set about the enneagram and how their influences are necessary for a certain work in progress”.

Ouspensky was Jupiter, Collin Smith Mercury, Miss P Venus. Collin Smith added that she (=Miss R) was Moon and Dr Roles Mars… Then she saw that the empty space was Miss Q, who was absent and that the three points of the internal triangle [i.e. numbers 3, 6, 9] were the three cats of the house.

But that night she felt the air “to be full of suggestions of black magic and… great struggle and fear, as of battle with evil forces”. So she was given a soporific injection and put to bed. And the next day, “when bending down to pick up an eiderdown,” she was filled with “a sense of indescribable horror and revulsion” as she knew that the eiderdown covered a dead body!!!

Ouspensky then told her that in a previous lifetime of hers she was wrongly accused of an actual murder! (All this fantastic/miraculous, much extended in ch8.)

2. In April 1947 there were several talks at Lyne on what they had in common now that the old system was in abeyance. Some were bewildered; others fumbled for a new “language”; still others thought of finding their own aim/desire, independent of others’ opinion.

“But what was really interesting about these meetings was that, without meaning to, each character played his own inevitable role – the same role that must have been played so many times in history in similar circumstances” (p20).

But surely we all play our own inevitable role in all circumstances willy-nilly, from an absolute point of view – and so, yes, the roles were played many times in the past.

“And in the various remarks”, continues the text, “could be seen the seeds of the whole history of the Early Church – creeds, schisms, heresies, apostolic succession and the rest. It was clear that minds on any ordinary level must by law produce such effects from a legacy of higher knowledge” (ibid).

The writer here betrays presumptuousness and megalomania. For nothing of the sort followed: no creeds, schisms etc. The succession passed quite smoothly to Dr. Roles and the “system” was transformed fully by the teaching of Śankarācārya.

3. The following incident is from “classified” ch12 of Last Remembrances of a Magician.

Rodney Collin Smith had the extraordinary sense that Ouspensky had effected “transfer of consciousness”, i.e. Ouspensky’s own consciousnes into Collin Smith after some experiments!

Collin Smith now had an extraordinary sense of having become a different person. This was so strong that it seemed quite clear to him that his old life had come to an end, disappeared. “So he asked Ouspensky what had happened to his own life and Ouspensky replied “I don’t know about that”!

“Without any artificiality or pretence, the figure of Collin Smith had now become ‘he’ in his [=Collin Smith’s] mind, another person”.

He then went into his room and told his wife her husband “was dead, make ready to marry again”! All this, of course, is highly delusory and artificial, revealed by the last sentence. But more follows.

“And when he made love to her, it was as if to a woman he had never known before”. This now confirms the sheer delusion and pretence. For he now proceeds to justify this with utterly unreasonable explanations.

“Again he had the most intense feeling that his sexual act was necessary to the creative experiment which had been conducted upon him”. An embryo of a new body was being attached to Collin Smith’s body (between the brows and at the heart) and had now to be attached to his sex-centre!!!

4. Afterwards Collin Smith went into Ouspensky’s room and on saying that he would go to Mme Ouspensky in USA, Ouspensky started hitting him on the face. Then, when Ouspensky asked “what happened?” (and I do believe Ouspensky did not know), Collin Smith replied “A man was killed”.

“Then quite calmly Collin Smith… at an indication from Ouspensky walked across and with all his force dealt Dr. Roles a blow on the cheek, which broke his eardrum”. (Dr. Roles was deafened, in fact.) He [=Collin Smith] then sat down beside Ouspensky again and suddenly overwhelmed with an extraordinary tide of love and gratitude, put his arm round Ouspensky’s shoulders and they smiled at each other”.

“Miss R and Miss P were kneeling on the floor, weeping uncontrollably. Ouspensky turned to them and said quietly ‘I cannot be accused’. After a pause he added ‘Is it wrong?’ Still weeping, Miss R answered ‘Nothing is wrong’. Later, he said aside… ‘He knew that he was good for nothing! … they stayed there, tears pouring from them.” (ch12.)

5. Such were, alas, the “miracles”. Feelings running high, imaginings, blows, “transfer of consciousness”, weeping, corpses under eiderdowns, murders in previous lifetimes, people embodying planetary forces, historical roles.

In other, plain words – delusions if not temporary dementia.

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