An Esoteric Guide to Spencer Brown’s Laws of Form #6
LoF p. 110
- To any person prepared to enter with respect into the realm of his great and universal ignorance, the secrets of being will eventually unfold, and they will do so in a measure according to his freedom from natural and indoctrinated shame in his respect of their revelation.
This whole statement doesn’t need to be connected to any esoteric principle because it is one overtly. He continues, still in an esoteric vein:
LoF p. 110
- To arrive at the simplest truth, as Newton knew and practised, requires years of contemplation. Not activity. Not reasoning. Not calculating. Not busy behaviour of any kind. Not reading. Not talking. Not making an effort. Not thinking. Simply bearing in mind what it is one needs to know. And yet those with the courage to tread this path to real discovery are not only offered practically no guidance on how to do so, they are actively discouraged and have to set about it in secret, pretending meanwhile to be diligently engaged in the frantic diversions and to conform with the deadening personal opinions which are being continually thrust upon them.
If this isn’t a description of what the esoteric pupil encounters, I don’t know what is.
LoF p. 110
- In these circumstances, the discoveries that any person is able to undertake represent the places where, in the face of induced psychosis, he has, by his own faltering and unaided efforts, returned to sanity. Painfully, and even dangerously, maybe. But nonetheless returned, however furtively.
This may seem like something of a pessimistic view, and is likely informed by GSB’s personal biography, but I had to include it because of his inversion of the concept of sanity is very apropos. He concludes:
LoF p. 134
- The very act of dwelling for a while with even a simple form can evidently tax the whole of one’s powers, so that to leave the simple forms before one is properly familiar with them can result in many unrewarding, or largely unrewarding, mathematical excursions.
GSB leaves us with a very profound point. Esoterically, progress is not made by advancing quickly, or by taking any kind of “shortcut”, but is rather constantly built up on the basis of continually refined, basic characterological traits, such as those described by Steiner in the six basic exercises. The point is not to “have” any particular knowledge, capacity, or power, but simply to do the work. Steiner points out that, no matter what we do, the extent to which we progress is never solely determined by our work in the moment, but is contingent upon a whole range of factors that span many aspects of the spiritual world, such as karmic considerations, but that even moreso, there is always an element of grace involved. Thus, the work itself, stated another way, is merely all in preparation for the appearance of grace.