Phase Eight

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The attributes of the Faculties when Will is at Phase 8derived frommodified byfromdescription
Will War between individuality and race 8 
MaskTrue Courage 22?CM 8 Amalgamation
False Fear ?BF 22 Temptation through strength
Creative MindTrue Versatility 22?CM 8 Amalgamation
False Impotence ?BF 22 Temptation through strength
Body of Fate The beginning of strength 8 
Composite of Faculties
trueWar between individuality and the race seeks to deliver courage (modified by amalgamation?), from the beginning of strength, with the help of versatility (modified by temptation through strength?).
falseWar between individuality and the race is misdirected to fear (modified by temptation through strength?), because impotence (modified by temptation through strength?) is separated from the beginning of strength.
The disposition of the FacultiesAttributes of Phase 8affectsmodifies
Will War between individuality and race 8-
MaskT: Self-immolation
F: Self-assurance
Creative MindT: Amalgamation
F: Despair
22 8 FM

Body of Fate The beginning of strength 8 22 FM
22 TCM

See AV B 116-19 & 96.

The modifications of the Mask and Creative Mind cannot really apply, since this Phase is neither primary nor antithetical, except in so far as its final tendency must be towards the antithetical; see True and False Faculties.

The Idiot of Dostoieffsky perhaps

Yeatsís description of the phase from A Vision

Out of phase, a condition of terror; when true to phase, of courage unbroken through defeat. From Phase 1 to Phase 7, there has been a gradual weakening of all that is primary. Character (the Will analysed in relation to the enforced Mask) has become individuality (the Will analysed in relation to itself), but now, though individuality persists through another phase, personality (the Will analysed in relation to the free Mask) must predominate. So long as the primary tincture predominated, the antithetical tincture accepted its manner of perception; character and individuality were enlarged by those vegetative and sensitive faculties excited by the Body of Fate, the nearest a primary nature can come to antithetical emotion. But now the bottle must be burst. The struggle of idealised or habitual theologised thought with instinct, mind with body, of the waning primary with the growing antithetical, must be decided, and the vegetative and sensitive faculties must for a while take the sway. Only then can the Will be forced to recognise the weakness of the Creative Mind when unaided by the Mask, and so to permit the enforced Mask to change into the free. Every new modification or codification of morality has been its attempt, acting through the Creative Mind, to set order upon the instinctive and vegetative faculties, and it must now feel that it can create order no longer. It is the very nature of a struggle, where the soul must lose all form received from the objectively accepted conscience of the world, that it denies us an historical example. One thinks of possible examples only to decide that Hartley Coleridge is not amongst them, that the brother of the BrontŽs may only seem to be because we know so little about him, but that Dostoieffsky's Idiot is almost certainly an example. But Dostoieffsky's Idiot was too matured a type, he had passed too many times through the twenty-eight phases to help our understanding. Here for the most part are those obscure wastrels who seem powerless to free themselves from some sensual temptation – drink, women, drugs – and who cannot in a life of continual crisis create any lasting thing. The being is often born up to four times at this one phase, it is said, before the antithetical tincture attains its mastery. The being clings like a drowning man to every straw, and it is precisely this clinging, this seemingly vain reaching forth for strength, amidst the collapse of all those public thoughts and habits that are the support of primary man, that enables it to enter at last upon Phase 9. It has to find its strength by a transformation of that very instinct which has hitherto been its weakness and so to gather up the strewn and broken members. The union of Creative Mind and Mask in opposition to Body of Fate and Will, intensifies this struggle by dividing the nature into halves which have no interchange of qualities. The man is inseparable from his fate, he cannot see himself apart, nor can he distinguish between emotion and intellect. He is will-less, dragged hither and thither, and his unemotionalised intellect, gathered up into the mathematical Phase 22, shows him perpetually for object of desire, an emotion that is like a mechanical energy, a thought that is like wheel and piston. He is suspended; he is without bias, and until bias comes, till he has begun groping for strength within his own being, his thought and his emotion bring him to judgment but they cannot help. As those at Phase 22 must dissolve the dramatising Mask in abstract mind that they may discover the concrete world, he must dissolve thought into mere impersonal instinct, into mere race, that he may discover the dramatising Mask: he chooses himself and not his Fate. Courage is his true Mask, and diversity, that has no habitual purpose, his true Creative Mind, because these are all that the phase of the greatest possible weakness can take into itself from the phase of the greatest possible strength. When his fingers close upon a straw, that is courage, and his versatility is that any wave may float a straw. At Phase 7, he had tried out of ambition to change his nature, as though a man should make love who had no heart, but now shock can give him back his heart. Only a shock resulting from the greatest possible conflict can make the greatest possible change, that from primary to antithetical or from antithetical to primary again. Nor can anything intervene. He must be aware of nothing but the conflict, his despair is necessary, he is of all men the most tempted – 'Eloi, Eloi, why has thou forsaken me?'

(AV B 116-19)

Symbol of Phase 8: Ďa man across abyss hands in beak of bird of prey feet in mouth of bear. water below.í (see YVP 3 400-01)

See a broader view of the Phase in the consideration of the Cardinal Phases.

The Faculties

The Wheel


The Phases in History


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