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Notes towards a definition of 'Spirituality'



1. The universality of spirit

Herman Goering famously remarked 'Every time I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun.' There are words that have a similar effect on me and one of them is, or has been, the word 'spiritual', or 'spirituality'.

I don't mind it so much as an adverb qualifying something else: spiritually uplifting or spiritually invigorating; and I don't mind 'spirited' or 'spirit' as in 'so-and-so shows a lot of spirit' or even 'spirit of the age'. But 'spiritual' or 'spirituality' taken by themselves too often announce the coming of something of a rather nebulous, dreamy, ethereal nature. Spiritual is often taken to mean the opposite of 'material' and since materiality is somehow associated in our minds with solidity, spirituality is associated with a certain airiness, though not, alas, with the quality of lightness.

For a large part of my life I would have avoided using the word. My attitude began to change, however, through my interest in the French Cubist painter Albert Gleizes. Not that it was a favourite word of his but he did write an important essay called Spirituality, Rhythm, Form. [1] To some extent what I am offering here is a condensed account of ideas that are discussed in a rather fuller context in my book on Gleizes [2]. But I want to start not with Gleizes himself but with a friend of his, the French mathematician Charles Henry, though I'm not sure that Henry himself would be keen to be associated with the word. He refers in one of his writings to 'those ideas of spirit, too imprecise to be useful, which arrive from time to time to clutter up the bibliography.' [3]

Henry is not perhaps well remembered in his own field of mathematics and physics but he does have a well-established niche in the history of art. He was associated with some of the leading French writers and painters active in the late 1880s, in particular with the 'Neo-Impressionists', the school of painters grouped round Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, known for their technique of building the painting up out of tiny dots of primary colour. It has been shown that Seurat's late paintings use elements of construction consistent with the use of the 'aesthetic calculator' devised by Henry to indicate angles that are 'rhythmic' and therefore agreeable and others that are non-rhythmic and therefore disagreeable. [4] Later ­ shortly before his death in 1926 ­ he became friendly with Albert Gleizes, which is of course how I came to know him.

Henry was in his day a prominent French representative of a school of thought that had developed in Germany under the name 'psycho-physics', mainly associated with the name of Gustav Fechner. Fechner is remembered for his attempts to measure sensation, to reduce subjective experience ­ as opposed to the supposedly external stimulus ­ to mathematical formulae. At the time, this effort was much criticised, notably by Henri Bergson [5] and his disciple, the political theorist on the borderline between Socialism and Fascism, Georges Sorel, who directly attacks Henry. [6] The entry on 'psycho-physics' in The Oxford Companion to the Mind would lead us to think that the consensus is now with Bergson and Sorel.

But Henry's and Fechner's interest in the possibility of measuring subjective sensation is rooted in a wider philosophical view ­ the conviction, or rather recognition of the fact, that, in Henry's expression, 'Everything we know is based on sensation' [7] The psychophysicists were taking account of the argument advanced by the 'Idealist' philosophers ­ Berkeley, Kant, Schelling, Schopenhauer ­ that the world, insofar as it is experienced by us is, wholly and entirely, a phenomenon of consciousness. There may be phenomena independent of consciousness and these may stimulate the phenomena within consciousness but it is only insofar as they exist ­ and in the form in which they exist ­ in consciousness that we can study them. Consequently the phenomena studied by the chemist, the physicist or the biologist are psychological in character and cannot be otherwise. 'Gravity, light, biophysics are qualities derived from our consciousness' to quote Henry. [8]

This is obvious, and universally recognised, in the case of phenomena such as sound or colour. We can argue that there is something in the external world which, when it reaches our ears or our eyes is transformed by them into sound and colour, but the actual quality of sound and of colour themselves can only exist within the mind, within consciousness. We understand the 'objective' or material support as vibratory and we are even able to assign distinct numbers ­ frequencies, speeds ­ to those vibrations. But those speeds and frequencies are not themselves sounds and colours which remain entirely mental phenomena even if they have required a very elaborate process to come into existence.

When we have said this we have said a lot, given the importance of sound and colour to our perception of the world ­ almost the whole of it, outside touch, smell, and the very obviously mental/psychological work of reasonable inference. And memory, which is the support of everything given that we are never actually looking at anything in the present but always working on the basis of a memory of what has just happened 'a couple of moments ago'. [9]

Colour and sound make up the whole of the experience to which we are subjected when we watch television or the cinema, and television may provide a useful illustration of one of the points I want to make.

Someone who is more knowledgeable than I am about how a television works will know how the signals ­ digital or analogue ­ function that create the images we see on the screen. The images appear in our minds as colours and forms. If we were to express those signals I assume it would have to be in the form of mathematical equations. Which poses the question: where is the reality of the television image? Is it in the image? or is it in the mathematical equations, which we might call the material base of the image, though they are very far from matter as we naively think of it. I would suggest that the reality lies in the image on the television screen. Even if that image is wholly dependent on the signals and will vanish if the signals fail, nonetheless the signals, the 'matter', only exist for the purpose of producing the image.

By analogy, then, I would suggest that what we might call the material world ­ the world which we may imagine to exist outside consciousness ­ is at the service of what we might now call the spiritual world ­ the world as it exists inside consciousness. This material world is, we find, the more it is examined, very abstract, intellectual and mathematical. In particular it lacks the quality we are most inclined to attribute to the 'real' ­ the quality of physical solidity. Solidity is as much dependent on the sense of touch as colour is on the sense of sight and sound on the sense of hearing. So if we try to imagine a world independent of consciousness we have to imagine that world without sound, colour, form, solidity, heat ­ all characteristics that can only exist in consciousness. Pictures of what the Universe was like billions of years ago are nonsensical because they presuppose an observer such as ourselves with the complex means of perception that the existence of such an observer implies. On the strength of the present argument we may assume that 'Consciousness' was in existence at that time but we cannot assume that that consciousness perceives things in anything like the way in which we do.

You will note that I am not here denying the existence of matter. But if we accept that unconscious matter is a support to the phenomena of consciousness in the way in which the signals in a television set are a support to the image on the screen, then we are bound to concede that Consciousness itself must be pre-existence to 'matter'. If the world without an 'observer' is an amalgam of signals destined to become forms, colours and other sensations once an 'observer' turns up then we must surely imagine that those forms, colours and other sensations are pre-existent as ideas; and the 'laws of matter' (and it is easy to imagine that matter is little more than a collection of laws and principles) exist so that those ideas can be realised once 'resonators' exist capable of interpreting them.

The vision of the world as essentially an exchange of different, in principle measurable, levels of vibration and of the human sensibility as a 'resonator', or amalgam of resonators, is central to Henry's thinking. The world and the consciousness of the individual complement each other, they are of a piece. Henry remarks on 'the deeply felt intuition of the geometers for whom each new analytical function will sooner or later find an application in physics.' He explains this by saying 'our representations, which is to say the expressions, more or less active [motrices], whether conscious or not, of our ideas, are the facts the most general that could be conceived, and apply to all possible objects.' [10] The word 'representations' immediately evokes Schopenhauer and Schopenhauer remarks that 'we are so deeply immersed in time, space, causality, and in the whole regular course of experience resting on these; we (and in fact even the animals) are so completely at home, and know how to find our way in experience from the very beginning. This would not be possible if our intellect were one thing and things another; but it can be explained only from the fact that the two constitute a whole; that the intellect itself creates that order, and exists only for things, but that things also exist only for it.' [11]

In this conception it is easier to imagine that matter is an epiphenomenon, an offshoot, of consciousness than vice versa. The thesis that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter ­ that matter somehow has within itself the power to evolve over billions of years into consciousness ­ requires that we attribute to matter qualities of will, intention and the ability to initiate movement that in our experience only exist in consciousness. It is based on a notion that matter is somehow simpler than consciousness and that the more complex must necessarily follow the simpler. This is a remnant from an old theological idea which sees the complexity of the world issuing from an original unity that is essentially simple in nature. But this unity was conceived of as belonging to the realm of consciousness with matter appearing quite late in the succession of the emanations. And the further we enter into the mysteries of the atom the less tenable is the idea that it is a simple original substance, lacking complexity.

Henry complains that 'the old metaphysical idea of "substance", by creating in the mind of a large number of specialists an abyss between the domain of thought and the domain called material has been one of the most regrettable conceptions for the progress of science' [12] but he effectively endorses the original theological understanding of substance when he says:

'Is consciousness an irreducible fact or an epiphenomenon of certain combinations of unconscious facts? From a metaphysical point of view both theories can be maintained; but if we look at it from the scientific point of view of the expression, the problem does not even arise. With regard to quantitative science (and that is the science towards which everything is trying to turn) sensibility can be nothing but a modification in the motor reaction [la réaction motrice] to stimulants [excitants]. It is clear that the exercise of consciousness will be correlative to certain motor conditions [conditions motrices]. There is a common psychic base to all the phenomena of sensibility, unconscious and conscious ...' [13]

It is much easier to believe that everything is grounded in a 'common psychic base' than in 'a combination of unconscious facts', and this concurs with the commonsense view most of humanity has had over most of human history. Henry was not so far as I known a religious believer, though he had ­ unsurprisingly under the circumstances ­ an interest in Hinduism, but this conception clearly has religious implications. If it does not validate any particular religious belief it renders them all possible. It insists that consciousness can exist independently of a material base accessible to the senses. It opens up the possibility of life and consciousness after death. As Henry puts it rather laconically:

'The stationary equilibria established between the biological resonators on the one hand and the gravitational or electrical resonators on the other, imply a stationary equilibrium between resonators of a different quality. This equilibrium, condition of life as it appears to us, is broken in death as it appears to us ... The rupture of this equilibrium, by freeing the biological resonator from its stationary mechanical liaisons, frees it from relativity [14] and does not imply the cessation either of a consciousness nor of an elementary personality.' [15]

And, as Henry does not say, the ability of life and consciousness to exist independently of any 'stationary mechanical liaisons' also implies the possible existence of gods, angels and demons, elves and water-sprites.

It clearly poses the question of the relations between the consciousness we think of as being our own and the 'common psychic base' (here understood in terms of an exchange of vibratory stimulants).And it has the merit of freeing us from the great, crushing awe we are supposed to feel when faced with the size of the universe. This is all just part of the mechanical process by which the world is brought into existence in the minds of sentient beings. It is part of the décor. I succumb to the temptation to quote a poem I wrote when this thought first became clear to me:



Astronomers today,
they are not architects.
They are the most miserable, carping of critics,
who cannot see the play,
only the stage machinery,
a desiccated intellect,
multiplying numbers,
multiplying space,
time without end, time without form,
time without Eternity.


I hope it is obvious that I am not arguing that the world as we experience it is not real. On the contrary, I am asserting, together with the Idealist philosophers Berkeley and Schopenhauer, that the world as we experience it in colours, sounds and solidity is fully real. It is grounded in consciousness and consciousness is the very stuff of reality. This is not a sceptical argument. The sceptical argument first questions the existence of the external world because it can only be known as a sensation, then, in the person of David Hume, it questions the existence of the internal world, of the 'I' who is doing the thinking/observing. But the present argument is not inviting you to despair because the Universe is 'only' sensation. It is inviting you instead to marvel at a sensation/consciousness that is capable of creating the Universe.

Referring back to our title we may suggest as a first attempt to define 'Spirituality' in the broadest sense of the word that it is a synonym for reality. It is coterminous with the real.


2. The hierarchy of spirit

Charles Henry had his own 'Laboratory for the Physiology of Sensations' in the Sorbonne in Paris, where he conducted a large number of experiments on the ways in which people respond to different stimuli with a particular emphasis on trying to understand why certain stimuli were experienced as harmonious (his term was dynamogène) and others as discordant (or inhibitoire) ­ hence his interest in and for the painters. In the 1920s, towards the end of his life, he was removed from the Sorbonne as a result of a concerted campaign on the part of his more conventionally minded colleagues. About the same time, in 1922, Etienne Gilson, also a member of the Sorbonne, published the first edition of his great History of Mediaeval Philosophy. [16]

In this first edition, Gilson presented the course of mediaeval philosophy as a conflict between two states of mind which may be summed up in the terms 'Realism' and 'Nominalism'. In the early mediaeval period, Realism is dominant; by the end of the period Nominalism is dominant. In later editions Gilson modified this scheme and argued that it had been an oversimplification but the simplicity of the earlier book still provides a useful if crude framework for thinking about a change that undoubtedly did occur, preparing the way for the modern scientific world outlook.

I cannot attempt here to give an account of this very important and intellectually impressive debate ­ possibly the most important philosophical debate in the whole history of Europe. Let us say simply that a Realist confronted with a beautiful object would say that there is such a thing as Beauty. Beauty is real and the object is beautiful insofar as it participates in that reality. The Nominalist on the other hand will argue that the beauty of an object exists only in that object. The word 'beauty' is only a 'name' ­ hence 'Nominalist'.

The relevance of this to the argument I have been advancing so far, identifying reality and spirituality/consciousness as synonyms, is that this 'Idealist' position is the necessary presupposition of the Realist position. Unless we identify spirituality/consciousness, not unconscious matter, as the substance of the world, the Realist argument ­ that ideas have a real objective existence prior to their manifestation in subjective experience ­ is incomprehensible. It is still possible for a Nominalist to see spirituality/consciousness as the essential reality but it is not the necessary presupposition of the argument. Karl Marx, who saw the whole history of philosophy as a struggle between Idealism (the view that matter is an epiphenomenon of consciousness) and Materialism (the view that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter) would certainly see the Realists as thoroughgoing Idealists and the Nominalists as crypto-materialists.

Nonetheless, it should not be thought that Nominalism is necessarily atheistic in its implications. In the first instance, by insisting on a radical separation between the perceived world and God, the Nominalists were defending the transcendence of God and insisting ­ rightly from a Christian point of view ­ that God is not accessible to philosophical inquiry. The Realist view which saw the perceived world as an amalgam of ideas that have their origin in God, runs the risk of pantheism, of confusing the created world and the uncreated divine realm. There was a Realist/Nominalist dispute in Islam, in the twelfth century, with the Realist position advocated by Ibn Rushd (Averroes), a commentator on Aristotle much more influential in the West than he was in the Muslim world. The Nominalist arguments were given by al-Ghazali and were, I believe, generally accepted within Sunni Islam. Sunni Islam is, I would suggest, more Nominalist, Shi'i Islam more Realist.

The great name associated with Nominalism in the West was the fourteenth century philosopher of English origin, William of Ockham, a Franciscan who participated, together with the political theorist Marsilius of Padua ­ one of the earliest inventors of the 'social contract' ­ in the anti-papal movement associated with the then Emperor, Louis of Bavaria. Ockham's ideas were taken up in the University of Erfurt which is where, over a century later, Luther studied. We may say that Protestantism is more Nominalist, Roman Catholicism more Realist. Nominalism, encouraging a strict adherence to the individual facts as manifested in the senses, is favourable both to the emergence of the scientific world view and to what we now call Biblical fundamentalism. From a more Realist point of view, Biblical literalism and the world outlook we call 'scientific' look like two sides of the same coin.

In 1932 Albert Gleizes gave a lecture entitled Art and Science. [17] Gleizes, you will remember, had been close to Henry at the time of his expulsion from the Sorbonne. He had also, it should be said, been friends with a more mainstream group of physicists, including Paul Langevin (source of the 'Langevin paradox' which states that an astronaut circling the earth will age more slowly than if she had remained on the earth) and Jules Drach, who held the chair of celestial mechanics at the Sorbonne. By 1932, Gleizes had also read Gilson's History of Mediaeval Philosophy.

He says:

'About forty years ago {that is, at the end of the nineteenth century ­ PB], a host of questions were being posed by developments in science: radiation, radioactivity, the curious construction of the atom. In physics, in mathematics, in chemistry, everything seemed to be on the verge of a fundamental transformation. Questions were being posed on space and time; on the real value of matter in the way in which it is experienced by the senses; the contradictions of movement; the meaning of our experience in relation to the units we use for measuring it; the biological foundation of our sensations.

'The search in the sciences has continued since then, but so far it has not produced very much, not just in the way of any definite conclusion, but even in the way of enlightenment of any sort. Two groups of scientists can now be seen. In the one, the scientists who, although unable to deny that the situation has become very complicated, nonetheless do not wish at any price to abandon the foundations of classical scientific reasoning; that is to say, the expectant attitude of the observer who informs himself about the outside world by means of his sensations, which is again to say, who believes in the inert measurement, whether at the level of the infinitely great or at that of the infinitely small, moved by an energy which is a stranger to it. In the other camp there are scientists who are drifting, more or less prudently, towards an explanation which, to the great alarm of the first group, allows of metaphysical factors [by this time Gleizes had an understanding of the term 'metaphysical' which was different from Henry's ­ PB], irrational concepts, universal principles of a religious character.

'At bottom, without our being aware of the fact, it is a situation that presents certain analogies with that of the doctrinal conflicts of scholastic philosophy. For in the first group we can see the distinguishing marks of those that were called Nominalists, who recognised as real only particular, individualised and consequently sensible entities just in the state in which they are when the senses have received them; and, in the second group, we can see the marks that distinguished those that were called by the name of Realists, who expressed all the individualised entities that the senses had brought to the consideration of the rational faculty in terms of general ideas, universal principles, a unity beyond reason. The Nominalists foreshadowed the coming of the classical state of mind, putting all their faith in the senses, while the Realists defended a tradition based on Intelligence. What do the present-day Nominalists defend? Where are our Realists headed without knowing? We have every right to ask the question and we even have some possibility of providing an answer.

'Well, I'll give you my opinion frankly. Our modern Nominalists are defending an intellectual régime which is dying and our Realists are the timid harbingers of an intellectual régime which is being born. They are both representatives of two opposed ways of thinking about the world, thus, of two states of mind.' [18]

Scientific nominalism is basically an intense, patient examination of individual sensations 'just in the state in which the senses have received them.' In the Dialogue on the Soul and Resurrection, St Gregory of Nyssa, writing in the fourth century, complains against Epicurus:

'For him appearance was what defined the nature of beings and he made perception the standard by which all things are comprehended. He completely closed the eyes of his soul and was unable to look at any of the bodiless things which are known by the intellect, just as someone who is shut up in a little hut remains unaware of the heavenly marvels because he is prevented by the walls and roof from seeing what is outside. All perceptible things which are seen in the universe are simply a sort of earthly walls which shut off small-souled people from the vision of intelligible things. Such a man looks only at earth, water, air and fire. Where each of these comes from, or what it is in, or what it is contained by, he cannot see ...' [19]

We may be reminded of William Blake:

'How do you know but ev'ry bird that cuts the airy way
Is an immense world of delight, closed by your senses five?' [20]

No matter how far we go into the minutiae of the atom or the enormity of the Universe, it is still, essentially, a sensation ­ an appearance, a perception. The early Christian model of the human being talked of three levels ­ body, soul and spirit, or the senses, reason, intellect ­ aisthesis, logos, nous. [21] Aisthesis, the basis for our word 'aesthetics', refers to the whole realm of sensations and is identified with the body. The body, or the 'flesh', or the senses, are understood entirely according to the way in which they are experienced in consciousness. When St Paul talks about the flesh, he is talking entirely about a collection of subjectively experienced needs ­ the demands that the body make on us. St Gregory of Nyssa, defending the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, sees the body, in a thoroughgoing 'Realist' manner, as a collection of 'intelligibles', of ideas accessible to the mind:

'because the corporeal creation appears with properties which are not shared with the Divine, our discussion encounters a particularly great difficulty if we are not able to see how the visible arises from the invisible, the solid and hard from the intangible, the limited from the unlimited, from the unqualified and immeasurable that which is entirely bounded by some measures related to quantity, as well as each property which we understand in connection with the corporeal nature. Concerning this we say this much: that nothing of what appears in relation to the body is body itself, not shape, nor colour, nor weight, nor dimension, nor quantity, nor anything else of what is related to quality, but each of these is a principle. The concurrence and union of these with one another becomes a body. So since the qualities which together complete the body are comprehended by mind and not by sense-perception, and the Divine is intellectual, why should not the Intelligible One be able to create the intelligible qualities which by their concurrence with one another have engendered the nature of our bodies?' [22]

The reason ­ logos or dianoia ­ corresponds to the soul or psyche, which is torn between the lower demands of the flesh and the higher demands of the spirit, or intellect, both words used to translate the Greek word nous. In order to draw the distinction from common Western understandings of spirit or intellect, it is sometimes also translated as the 'noetic faculty'. Here is the definition of 'intellect' or nous given in the notes to the English translation of the authoritative text of Orthodox asceticism, The Philokalia. It is:

'the highest faculty in man, through which ­ provided it is purified ­ he knows God or the inner essences or principles [logoi] of created things by means of direct apprehension or spiritual perception. Unlike the dianoia or reason, from which it must be carefully distinguished, the intellect does not function by formulating abstract concepts and then arguing on this basis to a conclusion reached through deductive reasoning, but it understands divine truth by means of immediate experience, intuition, or "simple cognition" (the term used by St Isaac the Syrian). The intellect dwells in the "depths of the soul" (St Diadochos ...); it constitutes the innermost aspect of the heart ... The intellect is the organ of contemplation, the "eye of the heart" (St Makarios ...).' [23]

When a scientist concentrates all her attention on a material world which she imagines to be external to herself, she is putting the logos, her soul, her ability to reason, entirely at the service of sensation, aisthesis, which is actually a lower level of the hierarchy of what we may now call 'spirituality'. We must insist again that, if we say it is at a lower level, it is still spiritual and still necessary, still an indispensable part of the whole person. I quote one of the writers of the Philokalia, Evagrius the Solitary:

'Let the virtues of the body lead you to those of the soul; and the virtues of the soul to those of the spirit; and these in turn to immaterial and principial knowledge.' (On Prayer § 132)

With regard to 'the virtues of the body', Gleizes would insist on the practise of a craft as the royal way by which the whole person is engaged ­ body, soul, spirit; senses, reason, intellect; or, to use his own terminology, space, time, eternity; measure, cadence, rhythm/form.

I started by insisting that the whole of reality, insofar as it can possibly be known to us, is 'spiritual'. This of course offers a definition of 'spirituality' that is very large but also rather passive. We are now moving towards a definition of spirituality that is more active and it is indeed difficult to dissociate the concepts of spirit and activity, as it is difficult to dissociate the concepts of matter and passivity. Clearly I cannot develop this much farther now but I would only like to say that the process outlined by Evagrius is not necessarily pleasant. In the Christian tradition it is likened to war, combat, struggle; it is expressed allegorically in the often very bloody historical books of the Old Testament; its manifesto is the book of Psalms. It is every bit as rigourous and requires as much patience and self-denial as the ­ in itself often very sober and ascetic ­ work of the physicist. Like the work of the best physicists it is a labour of love, though in this case it is a person to Person (or Person to person) love since the Consciousness that is at the origin of all things is conceived of as being Personal. Like the work of the physicist it is hard, concrete, disciplined. There is nothing about it that is vague, ethereal or dreamy. But whereas those whom Gleizes would characterise as the Nominalists are dealing with a substance which they imagine to be unconscious and dead, the Realists are dealing with a substance that is all consciousness and life.



[1] 'Spiritualité, Rythme, Forme', Confluences ­ les problèmes de la peinture, Lyon, 1945. Reprinted in Puissances du Cubisme, Editions Présence, Chambéry, 1969. English translation in Association des Amis d'Albert Gleizes, Ampuis 1996. Back

[2] Albert Gleizes - For and Against the Twentieth Century, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2001 Back

[3] Biologie, Vie et Survie, typescript in Gleizes archive, priv.coll., quoted in Brooke: Albert Gleizes, p.124. Back

[4] In Homer, William Innes: Seurat and the Science of Painting, the M.I.T.Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1964. Back

[5] In particular in the Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience, PUF, Paris, 1985 (originally published 1888) Back

[6] 'Esthétique et Psychophysique', letter to the editor in Revue philosophique de la France et de l'étranger, t. xxix, Jan-July, 1890, pp.182-4. Although I don't believe Henry ever directly advocated a non-representational art he did argue that lines and colours had an effect independent of the represented subject and this is one of the main complaints Sorel raises against him. Back

[7] Sensation et Energie, A.Hermann et fils, Paris, 1911, pp.160-1 Back

[8] Quoted in Mirabaud, Robert: Charles Henry et l'idéalisme scientifique, Librairie Fishbacher, Paris, 1926, p.13 Back

[9] This is a major theme developed by Augustine of Hippo in eg the Confessions, Books x-xiii. Back

[10] 'Le Contraste, le rythme, la mesure', Revue philosophique de la France et de l'étranger, t.xxviii, July-Dec 1889, p.376. Back

[11] E.F.J.Payne (trans):The World as Will and representation, Vol II, Dover publications, New York, 1966, p.9. This part first published 1844. Back

[12] Essai de généralisation de la Théorie du Rayonnement, J.Hermann, Paris, 1925, p.139 Henry argued that the existence of a material world independent of consciousness belonged to the realms of metaphysical speculation (which he regarded with some contempt) because it was not susceptible to empirical verification. See eg Psycho-Biologie et Energétique, quoted in Mirabaud: Charles Henry, p.12. Back

[13] 'Le Contraste, le rythme, la mesure', p.379. Back

[14] Henry argues that the laws of relativity are confined to the electro-magnetic level. On the basis of calculations which were made, he says, by the famous mathematician and astronomer, the Marquis de Laplace, he argues that mass and gravity require a speed of propagation many times greater than the speed of light. Back

[15] Essai de Généralisation, p.137. Back

[16] La Philiosophie au moyen-age, Paris (Payot), 1922. Back

[17] Art et Religion, Art et Science, Art et Production, Editions Présence, Chambéry, 1970. In English, translation with introduction and notes by Peter Brooke, as Art and Religion, Art and Science, Art and Production, Francis Boutle publishers, London, 1999. Back

[18] Francis Boutle ed pp.88-9. Back

[19] On the Soul and Resurrection, New York (St Vladimir's Seminary Press), 1993, p.31. Back

[20] Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Back

[21] For a discussion of these terms, especially aisthesis , and their origins in Greek philosophy and the writings of Philo of Alexandria, see Columba Stewart: Working the Earth of the Heart, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1991, p.116 et seq. Back

[22] Soul and Resurrection, pp.98-9. Back

[23] Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain and Makarios of Corinth (compilers): Philokalia, Vol 1, Faber and Faber, 1979, p.362. Back