Phase Seventeen

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The attributes of the Faculties when Will is at Phase 17derived frommodified byfromdescription
Will The Daimonic man 17 
MaskTrue Simplification through intensity 3CM 27 Simplicity
False Dispersal BF 13 Interest
Creative MindTrue Creative imagination through antithetical emotion 13CM 17 Subjective truth
False Enforced self-realization BF 3 Enforced love of another
Body of Fate Enforced loss 27 
Composite of Faculties
trueThe Daimonic man seeks to deliver simplification through intensity, modified by simplicity, from enforced loss, with the help of creative imagination through antithetical emotion, modified by subjective truth.
falseThe Daimonic man is misdirected to dispersal, modified by interest, because enforced self-realization, modified by enforced love of another, is separated from enforced loss.
The disposition of the FacultiesAttributes of Phase 17affectsmodifies
Will The Daimonic man 17-
MaskT: Innocence
F: Folly
Creative MindT: Subjective truth
F: Morbidity
13 27 FM

17 TCM
Body of Fate None except impersonal action 27 13 FM

See AV B 140-45 & 98.

Dante, Shelley, Landor, [Yeats]

Yeats’s description of the phase from A Vision

He is called the Daimonic man because Unity of Being, and consequent expression of Daimonic thought, is now more easy than at any other phase. As contrasted with Phase 13 and Phase 14, where mental images were separated from one another that they might be subject to knowledge, all now flow, change, flutter, cry out, or mix into something else; but without, as at Phase 16, breaking and bruising one another, for Phase 17, the central phase of its triad, is without frenzy. The Will is falling asunder, but without explosion and noise. The separated fragments seek images rather than ideas, and these the intellect, seated in Phase 13, must synthesise in vain, drawing with its compass-point a line that shall but respect the outline of a bursting pod. The being has for its supreme aim, as it had at Phase 16 (and as all subsequent antithetical phases shall have), to hide from itself and others this separation and disorder, and it conceals them under the emotional Image of Phase 3; as Phase 16 concealed its greater violence under that of Phase 2. When true to phase the intellect must turn all its synthetic power to this task. It finds, not the impassioned myth that Phase 16 found, but a Mask of simplicity that is also intensity. This Mask may represent intellectual or sexual passion; seem some Ahasuerus or Athanase; be the gaunt Dante of the Divine Comedy; its corresponding Image may be Shelley's Venus Urania, Dante's Beatrice, or even the Great Yellow Rose of the Paradiso. The Will, when true to phase, assumes, in assuming the Mask, an intensity which is never dramatic but always lyrical and personal, and this intensity, though always a deliberate assumption, is to others but the charm of the being; and yet the Will is always aware of the Body of Fate, which perpetually destroys this intensity, thereby leaving the Will to its own 'dispersal'.

At Phase 3, not as Mask but as phase, there should be perfect physical well-being or balance, though not beauty or emotional intensity, but at Phase 27 are those who turn away from all that Phase 3 represents and seek all those things it is blind to. The Body of Fate, therefore, derived from a phase of renunciation, is 'loss', and works to make impossible 'simplification through intensity'. The being, through the intellect, selects some object of desire for a representation of the Mask as Image, some woman perhaps, and the Body of Fate snatches away the object. Then the intellect (Creative Mind), which in the most antithetical phases were better described as imagination, must substitute some new image of desire; and in the degree of its power and of its attainment of unity, relate that which is lost, that which has snatched it away, to the new image of desire, that which threatens the new image to the being's unity. If its unity be already past, or if unity be still to come, it may for all that be true to phase. It will then use its intellect merely to isolate Mask and Image, as chosen forms or as conceptions of the mind.

If it be out of phase it will avoid the subjective conflict acquiesce, hope that the Body of Fate may die away; and then the Mask will cling to it and the Image lure it. It will feel itself betrayed, and persecuted till, entangled in primary conflict, it rages against all that destroys Mask and Image. It will be subject to nightmare, for its Creative Mind (deflected from the Image and Mask to the Body of Fate) gives an isolated mythological or abstract form to all that excites its hatred. It may even dream of escaping from ill-luck by possessing the impersonal Body of Fate of its opposite phase and of exchanging passion for desk and ledger. Because of the habit of synthesis, and of the growing complexity of the energy, which gives many interests, and the still faint perception of things in their weight and mass, men of this phase are almost always partisans, propagandists and gregarious; yet because of the Mask of simplification, which holds up before them the solitary life of hunters and of fishers and 'the groves pale passion loves', they hate parties, crowds, propaganda. Shelley out of phase writes pamphlets, and dreams of converting the world, or of turning man of affairs and upsetting governments, and yet returns again and again to these two images of solitude, a young man whose hair has grown white from the burden of his thoughts, an old man in some shell-strewn cave whom it is possible to call, when speaking to the Sultan, 'as inaccessible as God or thou'. On the other hand, how subject he is to nightmare! He sees the devil leaning against a tree, is attacked by imaginary assassins, and, in obedience to what he considers a supernatural voice, creates The Cenci that he may give to Beatrice Cenci her incredible father. His political enemies are monstrous, meaningless images. And unlike Byron, who is two phases later, he can never see anything that opposes him as it really is. Dante, who lamented his exile as of all possible things the worst for such as he, and sighed for his lost solitude, and yet could never keep from politics, was, according to a contemporary, such a partisan that if a child, or a woman, spoke against his party he would pelt this child or woman with stones. Yet Dante, having attained, as poet, to Unity of Being, as poet saw all things set in order, had an intellect that served the Mask alone, that compelled even those things that opposed it to serve, and was content to see both good and evil. Shelley, upon the other hand, in whom even as poet unity was but in part attained found compensation for his 'loss', for the taking away of his children: for his quarrel with his first wife, for later sexual disappointment, for his exile, for his obloquy - there were but some three or four persons, he said, who did not consider him a monster of iniquity - in his hopes for the future of mankind. He lacked the Vision of Evil, could not conceive of the world as a continual conflict, so, though great poet he certainly was, he was not of the greatest kind. Dante suffering injustice and the loss of Beatrice, found divine justice and the heavenly Beatrice, but the justice of Prometheus Unbound is a vague propagandist emotion and the women that await its coming are but clouds. This is in part because the age in which Shelley lived was in itself so broken that true Unity of Being was almost impossible, but partly because, being out of phase so far as his practical reason was concerned, he was subject to an automatonism which he mistook for poetical invention, especially in his longer poems. Antithetical men (Phase 15 once passed) use this automatonism to evade hatred, or rather to hide it from their own eyes; perhaps all at some time or other, in moments of fatigue, give themselves up to fantastic, constructed images, or to an almost mechanical laughter.

Landor has been examined in Per Amica Silentia Lunae. The most violent of men, he uses his intellect to disengage a visionary image of perfect sanity (Mask at Phase 3) seen always in the most serene and classic art imaginable. He had perhaps as much Unity of Being as his age permitted, and possessed, though not in any full measure, the Vision of Evil.

(AV B 140-45)

Symbol of Phase 17: ‘crystal arrow & crescent’ (see YVP 3 400-01)

See a broader view of the Phase in the consideration of the Phase Triads.

The Faculties

The Wheel


The Phases in History


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