Phase Twenty-Five

enlarge this window
The attributes of the Faculties when Will is at Phase 25derived frommodified byfromdescription
Will The Conditional Man 25
MaskTrue Consciousness of self 11BF 5 Enforced belief
False Self-consciousness CM 19 Moral iconoclasm
Creative MindTrue Rhetoric 5BF 11 Natural law
False Spiritual arrogance FCM 25 Limitation
Body of Fate Persecution 19
Composite of Faculties
trueThe conditional man seeks to deliver rhetoric, modified by natural law, from consciousness of self, modified by enforced belief, with the help of persecution.
falseThe conditional man is misdirected to spiritual arrogance, modified by limitation, bringing self-consciousness, modified by moral iconoclasm, separated from persecution.
The disposition of the FacultiesAttributes of Phase 25affectsmodifies
Will The conditional man 25-
MaskT: Rejection
F: Moral indifference
Creative MindT: Social intellect
F: Limitation
5 19 TM

25 FCM
Body of Fate Enforced failure of action 19 11 FCM
5 TM

See AV B 172-76 & 99.

Cardinal Newman, Luther, Calvin, George Herbert, George Russell (AE)

Yeats’s description of the phase from A Vision

Born as it seems to the arrogance of belief, as Phase 24 was born to moral arrogance, the man of the phase must reverse himself, must change from Phase 11 to Phase 25; use the Body of Fate to purify the intellect from the Mask, till this intellect accepts some social order, some condition of life, some organised belief: the convictions of Christendom perhaps. He must eliminate all that is personal from belief; eliminate the necessity for intellect by the contagion of some common agreement, as did Phase 23 by its technique, Phase 24 by its code. With a Will of subsidence, an intellect of loosening and separating, he must, like Phase 23 or Phase 24, find himself in such a situation that he is compelled to concrete synthesis (Body of Fate at Phase 19 the discord of Phase 11), but this situation compels the Will, if it pursue the False Mask, to the persecution of others, if found by the True Mask, to suffer persecution. Phase 19, phase of the Body of Fate, is a phase of breaking, and when the Will is at Phase 25, of breaking by belief or by conditions. In this it finds impulse and joy. It is called the Conditional Man, perhaps because all the man's thought arises out of some particular condition of actual life, or is an attempt to change that condition through social conscience. He is strong, full of initiative, full of social intellect; absorption has scarce begun; but his object is to limit and bind, to make men better, by making it impossible that they should be otherwise, to so arrange prohibitions and habits that men may be naturally good, as they are naturally black, or white, or yellow. There may be great eloquence, a mastery of all concrete imagery that is not personal expression, because though as yet there is no sinking into the world but much distinctness, clear identity, there is an overflowing social conscience. No man of any other phase can produce the same instant effect upon great crowds; for codes have passed, the universal conscience takes their place. He should not appeal to a personal interest, should make little use of argument which requires a long train of reasons, or many technical terms, for his power rests in certain simplifying convictions which have grown with his character; he needs intellect for their expression, not for proof, and taken away from these convictions is without emotion and momentum. He has but one overwhelming passion, to make all men good, and this good is something at once concrete and impersonal; and though he has hitherto given it the name of some church, or state, he is ready at any moment to give it a new name, for, unlike Phase 24, he has no pride to nourish upon the past. Moved by all that is impersonal, he becomes powerful as, in a community tired of elaborate meals, that man might become powerful who had the. strongest appetite for bread and water.

When out of phase he may, because Phase 11 is a phase of diffused personality and pantheistic dreaming, grow sentimental and vague, drift into some emotional abstract, his head full of images long separated from life, and ideas long separated from experience, turn tactless and tasteless, affirm his position with the greatest arrogance possible to man. Even when nearly wholly good he can scarce escape from arrogance; what old friend did Cardinal Newman cut because of some shade of theological difference? Living in the False Creative Mind produces, in all primary phases, insensitiveness, as living in the False Mask produces emotional conventionality and banality, because that False Creative Mind, having received no influence from the Body of Fate, no mould from individuals and interests, is as it were self-suspended. At Phase 25 this insensitiveness may be that of a judge who orders a man to the torture, that of a statesman who accepts massacre as an historical necessity. One thinks of Luther's apparent indifference to atrocities committed, now by the peasants, now against them, according to the way his incitements veered. The genius of Synge and Rembrandt has been described as typical of Phase 23. The first phase of a triad is an expression of unrelated power. They surprised the multitude, they did not seek to master it; while those chosen for examples of Phase 24 turn the multitude into a moral norm. At Phase 25 men seek to master the multitude, not through expressing it, nor through surprising it, but by imposing upon it a spiritual norm. Synge, reborn at Phase 25, might interest himself, not in the primary vigour and tragedy of his Aran Island countrymen, but in their conditions, their beliefs, and through some eccentricity (not of phase but horoscope), not in those shared with fellow Catholics, as Newman would, but in those shared with Japanese peasants, or in their belief as a part of all folk belief considered as religion and philosophy. He would use this religion and philosophy to kill within himself the last trace of individual abstract speculation, yet this religion and this philosophy, as present before his mind, would be artificial and selected, though always concrete. Subsidence upon, or absorption in, the spiritual primary is not yet possible or even conceivable.

Poets of this phase are always stirred to an imaginative intensity by some form of propaganda. George Herbert was doubtless of this phase; and George Russell (A. E.), though the signs are obscured by the influence upon his early years of poets and painters of middle antithetical phases. Neither Russell's visionary painting nor his visions of 'nature spirits' are, upon this supposition, true to phase. Every poem, where he is moved to write by some form of philosophical propaganda, is precise, delicate and original, while in his visionary painting one discovers the influence of other men, Gustave Moreau, for instance. This painting is like many of his 'visions', an attempt to live in the Mask, caused by critical ideas founded upon antithetical art. What dialect was to Synge, his practical work as a co-operative organiser was to him, and he found precise ideas and sincere emotion in the expression of conviction. He learned practically, but not theoretically, that he must fly the Mask. His work should neither be consciously aesthetic nor consciously speculative but imitative of a central Being—the Mask as his pursuer—consciously apprehended as something distinct, as something never immanent though eternally united to the soul.

His False Mask showed him what purport to be 'nature spirits' because all phases before Phase 15 are in nature, as distinguished from God, and at Phase II that nature becomes intellectually conscious of its relations to all created things. When he desires the Mask, instead of flying that it may follow, it gives, instead of the intuition of God, a simulated intuition of nature. That simulated intuition is arrayed in ideal conventional images of sense, instead of in some form of abstract opinion, because of the character of his horoscope.

(AV B 172-76)

Symbol of Phase 25: ‘vast figure of god with small human figure flicking before his face’ (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