Phase Twenty-Six

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The attributes of the Faculties when Will is at Phase 26derived frommodified byfromdescription
WillThe Multiple Man, also called ‘The Hunchback’ 26
MaskTrueSelf-realisation 12BF 4Enforced intellectual action
FalseSelf-abandonmentCM 18Subjective philosophy
Creative MindTrueBeginning of the abstract supersensual 4BF 12Search
FalseFascination of sinFCM 26Mutilation
Body of FateThe Hunchback is his own Body of Fate 18
Composite of Faculties
trueThe multiple man or Hunchback seeks to deliver the beginning of the abstract supersensual, modified by search, from self-realization, modified by enforced intellectual action, with the help of himself.
falseThe multiple man is misdirected to fascination of sin, modified by mutilation, bringing self-abandonment, modified by subjective philosophy, separated from himself.
The disposition of the FacultiesAttributes of Phase 26affectsmodifies
WillThe multiple man, also called the Hunchback 26
MaskT: Self-exaggeration
F: Self-abandonment
Creative MindT: First perception of character
F: Mutilation
4 18 TM

26 FCM
Body of FateEnforced disillusionment 18 12 FCM
4 TM

See AV B 176-80 & 99.

Yeats’s description of the phase from A Vision

The most difficult of the phases, and the first of those phases for which one can find few or no examples from personal experience. I think that in Asia it might not be difficult to discover examples at least of Phases 26, 27 and 28, final phases of a cycle. If such embodiments occur in our present European civilisation they remain obscure, through lacking the instruments for self-expression. One must create the type from its symbols without the help of experience.

All the old abstraction, whether of morality or of belief, has now been exhausted; but in the seemingly natural man, in Phase 26 out of phase, there is an attempt to substitute a new abstraction, a simulacrum of self-expression. Desiring emotion the man becomes the most completely solitary of all possible men, for all normal communion with his kind, that of a common study, that of an interest in work done, that of a condition of life, a code, a belief shared, has passed; and without personality he is forced to create its artificial semblance. It is perhaps a slander of history that makes us see Nero so, for he lacked the physical deformity which is, we are told, first among this phase's inhibitions of personality. The deformity may be of any kind, great or little, for it is but symbolised in the hump that thwarts what seems the ambition of a Caesar or of an Achilles. He commits crimes, not because he wants to, or like Phase 23 out of phase because he can, but because he wants to feel certain that he can; and he is full of malice because, finding no impulse but in his own ambition, he is made jealous by the impulse of others. He is all emphasis, and the greater that emphasis the more does he show himself incapable of emotion, the more does he display his sterility. If he live amid a theologically minded people, his greatest temptation may be to defy God, to become a Judas, who betrays, not for thirty pieces of silver, but that he may call himself creator.

In examining how he becomes true to phase, one is perplexed by the obscure description of the Body of Fate, 'The Hunchback is his own Body of Fate'. This Body of Fate is derived from Phase 18, and (being reflected in the physical being of Phase 26) can only be such a separation of function—deformity—as breaks the self-regarding False Mask (Phase 18 being the breaking of Phase 12). All phases from Phase 26 to Phase 11 inclusive should be gregarious; and from Phase 26 to Phase 28 there is, when the phase is truly lived, contact with supersensual life, or a sinking-in of the body upon its supersensual source, or desire for that contact and sinking. At Phase 26 has come a subconscious exhaustion of the moral life, whether in belief or in conduct, and of the life of imitation, the life of judgment and approval. The Will must find a substitute, and as always in the first phase of a triad energy is violent and fragmentary. The moral abstract being no longer possible, the Will may seek this substitute through the knowledge of the lives of men and beasts, plucked up, as it were, by the roots, lacking in all mutual relations; there may be hatred of solitude, perpetual forced bonhomie; yet that which it seeks is without social morality, something radical and incredible. When Ezekiel lay upon his 'right and left side' and ate dung, to raise 'other men to a perception of the infinite', he may so have sought, and so did perhaps the Indian sage or saint who coupled with the roe.

If the man of this phase seeks, not life, but knowledge of each separated life in relation to supersensual unity; and above all of each separated physical life, or action,—that alone is entirely concrete—he will, because he can see lives and actions in relation to their source and not in their relations to one another, see their deformities and incapacities with extraordinary acuteness. His own past actions also he must judge as isolated and each in relation to its source; and this source, experienced not as love but as knowledge, will be present in his mind as a terrible unflinching judgment. Hitherto he could say to primary man, 'Am I as good as So-and-so?' and when still antithetical he could say, 'After all I have not failed in my good intentions taken as a whole'; he could pardon himself; but how pardon where every action is judged alone and no good action can turn judgment from the evil action by its side? He stands in the presence of a terrible blinding light, and would, were that possible, be born as worm or mole.

From Phase 22 to Phase 25, man is in contact with what is called the physical primary, or physical objective; from Phase 26 and Phase 4, the primary is spiritual; then for three phases, the physical primary returns. Spiritual, in this connection, may be understood as a reality known by analogy alone. How can we know what depends only on the self? In the first and in the last crescents lunar nature is but a thin veil; the eye is fixed upon the sun and dazzles.

(AV B 176-79)

Symbol of Phase 26: ‘Hunch back fighting his shadow on ground which bleeds’ (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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