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Balzac, Honoré de - Louis Lambert - 07 Conscious, Subconscious and Higher spirit



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Louis Lambert by Honore De Balzac

    XII  Facts are nothing; they do not subsist; all that lives of us is  the Idea.

    XIII  The realm of Ideas is divided into three spheres: that of  Instinct, that of Abstractions, that of Specialism.

   XIV  The greater part, the weaker part of visible humanity, dwells in  the Sphere of Instinct. The Instinctives are born, labor, and  die without rising to the second degree of human intelligence,  namely Abstraction.

  XV  Society begins in the sphere of Abstraction. If Abstraction, as  compared with Instinct, is an almost divine power, it is  nevertheless incredibly weak as compared with the gift of  Specialism, which is the formula of God. Abstraction comprises all  nature in a germ, more virtually than a seed contains the whole system of a plant and its fruits. From Abstraction are derived  laws, arts, social ideas, and interests. It is the glory and the  scourge of the earth: its glory because it has created social  life; its scourge because it allows man to evade entering into  Specialism, which is one of the paths to the Infinite. Man  measures everything by Abstractions: Good and Evil, Virtue and  Crime. Its formula of equity is a pair of scales, its justice is  blind. God's justice sees: there is all the difference.

  There must be intermediate Beings, then, dividing the sphere of  Instinct from the sphere of Abstractions, in whom the two elements  mingle in an infinite variety of proportions. Some have more of  one, some more of the other. And there are also some in which the  two powers neutralize each other by equality of effect.

   XVI  Specialism consists in seeing the things of the material universe  and the things of the spiritual universe in all their  ramifications original and causative. The greatest human geniuses  are those who started from the darkness of Abstraction to attain  to the light of Specialism. (Specialism, species, sight;  speculation, or seeing everything, and all at once; Speculum, a  mirror or means of apprehending a thing by seeing the whole of  it.) Jesus had the gift of Specialism; He saw each fact in its  root and in its results, in the past where it had its rise, and in  the future where it would grow and spread; His sight pierced into  the understanding of others. The perfection of the inner eye gives  rise to the gift of Specialism. Specialism brings with it  Intuition. Intuition is one of the faculties of the Inner Man, of  which Specialism is an attribute. Intuition acts by an  imperceptible sensation of which he who obeys it is not conscious:  for instance, Napoleon instinctively moving from a spot struck  immediately afterwards by a cannon ball.

   XVII  Between the sphere of Abstraction and that of Specialism, as  between those of Abstraction and Instinct, there are beings in  whom the attributes of both combine and produce a mixture; these  are men of genius.

    XVIII  Specialism is necessarily the most perfect expression of man, and  he is the link binding the visible world to the higher worlds; he  acts, sees, and feels by his inner powers. The man of Abstraction  thinks. The man of Instinct acts.

   XIX  Hence man has three degrees. That of Instinct, below the average;  that of Abstraction, the general average; that of Specialism,  above the average. Specialism opens to man his true career; the  Infinite dawns on him; he sees what his destiny must be.

The source of the experience

Balzac, Honoré de

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