Phase Twenty-One

enlarge this window
The attributes of the Faculties when Will is at Phase 21derived frommodified byfromdescription
Will The acquisitive man 21 
MaskTrue Self-analysis 7CM 23 Heroic sentiment
False Self-adaptation BF 9 Adventure that excites the individuality
Creative MindTrue Domination of the intellect 9CM 21 Self-dramatisation
False Distortion BF 7 Enforced sensuality
Body of Fate Enforced triumph of achievement 23 
Composite of Faculties
trueThe acquisitive man seeks to deliver self-analysis, modified by heroic sentiment, from enforced triumph of achievement, with the help of domination of intellect, modified by self-dramatisation.
falseThe acquisitive man is misdirected to self-adaptation, modified by adventure that excites the individuality, because distortion, modified by enforced sensuality, is separated from enforced triumph of achievement.
The disposition of the FacultiesAttributes of Phase 21affectsmodifies
Will The acquisitive man 21-
MaskT: Altruism
F: Efficiency
Creative MindT: Self-dramatisation
F: Anarchy
9 23 FM

21 TCM
Body of Fate Success 23 9 FM

See AV B 154-57 & 98.

Lamarck, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, George Moore, Jacques Louis David

Yeats’s description of the phase from A Vision

The antithetical tincture has a predominance so slight that the Creative Mind and Body of Fate almost equal it in control of desire. The Will can scarcely conceive of a Mask separate from or predominant over Creative Mind and Body of Fate, yet because it can do so there is personality not character. It is better, however, to use a different word, and therefore Phases 21, 22 and 23 are described as, like the phases opposite, phases of individuality where the Will is studied less in relation to the Mask than in relation to itself. At Phase 23 the new relation to the Mask, as something to escape from, will have grown clear.

The antithetical tincture is noble, and, judged by the standards of the primary, evil, whereas the primary is good and banal; and this phase, the last before the antithetical surrenders its control, would be almost wholly good did it not hate its own banality. Personality has almost the rigidity, almost the permanence of character, but it is not character, for it is still always assumed. When we contemplate Napoleon we can see ourselves, perhaps even think of ourselves as Napoleons, but a man of Phase 21 has a personality that seems a creation of his circumstance and his faults, a manner peculiar to himself and impossible to others. We say at once, 'How individual he is'. In theory whatever one has chosen must be within the choice of others, at some moment or for some purpose, but we find in practice that nobody of his phase has personal imitators, or has given his name to a form of manners. The Will has driven intellectual complexity into its final entanglement, an entanglement created by the continual adaptation to new circumstances of a logical sequence; and the aim of the individual, when true to phase, is to realise, by his own complete domination over all circumstance, a self-analysing, self-conscious simplicity. Phase 7 shuddered at its intellectual simplicity, whereas he must shudder at his complexity. Out of phase, instead of seeking this simplicity through his own dominating constructive will, he will parade an imaginary naïveté, even blunder in his work, encourage in himself stupidities of spite or sentiment, or commit calculated indiscretions simulating impulse. He is under the False Mask (emotional self-adaptation) and the False Creative Mind (distortion: the furious Phase 9 acted upon by 'enforced sensuality'). He sees the antithetical as evil, and desires the evil, for he is subject to a sort of possession by the devil, which is in reality but a theatrical scene. Precisely because his adaptability can be turned in any direction, when lived according to the primary, he is driven into all that is freakish or grotesque, mind-created passions, simulated emotions; he adopts all that can suggest the burning heart he longs for in vain; he turns braggart or buffoon. Like somebody in Dostoieffsky's Idiot, he will invite others to tell their worst deeds that he may himself confess that he stole a half-crown and left a servant girl to bear the blame. When all turn upon him he will be full of wonder, for he knows that the confession is not true, or if true, that the deed itself was but a trick, or a pose, and that all the time he is full of a goodness that fills him with shame. Whether he live according to phase and regard life without emotion, or live out of phase and simulate emotion, his Body of Fate drags him away from intellectual unity; but in so far as he lives out of phase he weakens conflict, refuses to resist, floats upon the stream. In phase he strengthens conflict to the utmost by refusing all activity that is not antithetical: he becomes intellectually dominating, intellectually unique. He apprehends the simplicity of his opposite phase as some vast systematisation, in which the will imposes itself upon the multiplicity of living images, or events, upon all in Shakespeare, in Napoleon even, that delighted in its independent life; for he is a tyrant and must kill his adversary. If he is a novelist, his characters must go his road, and not theirs, and perpetually demonstrate his thesis; he will love construction better than the flow of life, and as a dramatist he will create character and situation without passion, and without liking, and yet he is a master of surprise, for one can never be sure where even a charge of shot will fall. Style exists now but as a sign of work well done, a certain energy and precision of movement; in the artistic sense it is no longer possible, for the tension of the will is too great to allow of suggestion. Writers of the phase are great public men and they exist after death as historical monuments, for they are without meaning apart from time and circumstance.

(AV B 154-57)

Symbol of Phase 21: ‘Man & statue’ (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


Close this window