The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus
The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus by E.J. Gold
Revised 2nd Edition
The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus by E.J. Gold is now back in print in a glorious, expanded new edition.
This 2nd edition features new artwork by the author/artist E.J. Gold. A set of beautiful charcoals.
An increasingly influential study that presents vital information for anyone on a spiritual path in a practical way. The author emphasizes our transformational potential and how to transcend our ordinary biological and psychological limitations.
Table of Contents
- Editor's Preface
- The Situation: The impartial observation of the limits of life in a fish tank can provide us with an important clue as to the real nature of our planetary situation and a basis for asking ourselves what the meaning and purpose of life can be.
- What to Do? If our world is actually related to other worlds, then we must ask ourselves what we can accomplish that would be significant and of objective value and consequence beyond its limited confines.
- Our Potential for Inner Evolution: The key to accomplishing something of objective value lies in our potential for inner evolution; special methods can teach us how to use our body, mind, and emotions to transform our essential selves.
- The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus: Contrary to popular belief, inner transformation does not produce behavioral and psychological results that can be easily recognized from the outside. Real results are of an entirely different nature.
- Beyond Personal Enhancement: Most psychological methods provide us with a means to achieve personal enhancement by changing behavioral patterns of the “machine.” Real transformational methods enable us to achieve objective change by transforming the “essential self” and completely disregarding the effect we have upon others.
- Beginning Work: The purpose of beginning work is to bring the machine into the waking state and to enable it to function as a transformational apparatus. Transformation is not an aim in itself but a stepping stone to a whole new way of life which we seek.
- Sheep in Sleep: Because the machine—although fully functional in the ordinary sense—lives its whole life in the sleeping state, our work begins in sleep. We must learn to use the elements of sleep to overcome the machine's defense mechanism against the waking state.
- Inner Aims: By making our formulation of our inner aims toward transformation more exact, we may eventually develop a real work aim, not something mental and subjective, but an aim which is practical, immediate, accomplishable, and which could actually serve a greater, more objective aim.
- Study of the Machine: Although we are separate from the machine, we have become hypnotized, immersed in the sleeping state of the machine. One of the purposes of studying the machine is to gather evidence which can help us define the exact nature of this sleep.
- The Machine as an Electrical Field: The human biological machine is a powerful dominant electrical field which can—if its transformational functions are activated by the waking state, act electrically upon the essential self… another, less powerful but more subtle electrical field which forms the true self.
- The Repair of the Machine: Because life experiences—mnemonically stored in the muscles of the body—have distorted the electrical field of the machine, repair of these anomalies in the general electrical field are necessary in order for the machine to function effectively as a transformational apparatus.
- The Essential Self as an Electrical Field: Information in the evolutionary sense is transmitted by impingement of one electrical field upon another. The electrical field of the essential self undergoes the exact change necessary to free it from its compulsive electrical affinity for the human biological machine.
- Help: Real help is not someone doing something for us, or a lessening of our personal suffering and struggles. Real help has no calming effect—quite the contrary—it makes the machine squirm itself into evolution-by-reflex.
- Alchemy: Alchemy is not a way of producing behavioral change in the machine; it is a way of notating change that occurs on a much deeper level. It is not a cause, but an effect, a reflection of the inner evolution of the essential self.
- Bringing the Woman to Life: If we follow the machine as a lover would unrelentingly fix his gaze upon his Beloved, filled with astonishment, rapture and gratitude, the machine will come to life, awakening and responding to the power of adoration with a profound emotion which will in turn bring about our own transformation.
- Attack at Dawn: A Beachhead into the Fourth Dimension: In our beginning work, we often attempt to accomplish too much at once. Our efforts are scattered and our energy quickly dissipates itself. We must discipline ourselves to improve the quality and potency of our efforts by condensing them at first.
- Warming of the Soul: Growth of the soul requires a form of human sacrifice, the exact nature of which has long since been distorted in mainstream thought. Evolutionary barriers—flaws in the diamond—are ground down by abrasion.
- Out of Body: Once we are able to bring the machine to stillness and silence, we will experience ourselves as definitely separate from the machine with a life apart from and far beyond the life of the machine.
- The Chronic Defense Mechanism: Because of its fear of not being able to reintegrate the sleeping state, the machine has learnt to defend itself against the waking state. Each individual has a particular defense mechanism called the Chronic which is triggered off whenever the machine is threatened with awakening.
- The Electrical Affinity of the Essential Self and the Machine: The relationship between the essential self and the machine is based on a seduction, an affinity—electrical in nature—between their electrical fields. Evolution thus means transformation of the electrical field of the essential self in such a way as to free it from this affinity.
- Restimulation of the Defense Mechanism: By constantly restimulating areas of charge in the electrical field of the machine, we are able to clear it of its ridges and eddies which impede on the electrical field of the essential self.
- Every Which Way But Up: The vision of the higher dimension indicates that the waking state has been achieved; without the vision of the higher dimension, the waking state cannot be used for transformation.
- An Experience: The account of an experience which Janet, a medical doctor located in New York City, had with her chronic and how she was able to use it to cross into the waking state.
From a strictly biological and psychological point of view, we are destined to a painfully brief existence as human beings. Can anything really be done, in an evolutionary sense, that would unlock our full transformational potential and raise us above the futility to which we are presently condemned?
The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus, the introduction to a large body of writings of E.J. Gold, a recognized leader in the field of transformational psychology, is an answer to this question. In the spring of 1983, E.J. Gold traveled to New York and began an astonishing series of talks to public and private gatherings. In these talks, he went far beyond a restatement of themes and ideas he has presented for over 20 years. He swept away the superstructure of his theory and began afresh to formulate the basis for his practical course of transformational work. The results are collected in this startlingly original volume, The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus.
The clarity and brilliance with which the author treats the human condition in this book is reminiscent of Plato's dialectic. Like the opening sections of the Republic, The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus begins by establishing both the need for deep personal inquiry and the subject and method of that inquiry.
These spring from one and the same source. If we have studied our situation as Mr. Gold has, we know that the body—including the mind—seems to have a will of its own which manifests itself in utterly incomprehensible desires and tastes. We are helplessly bound to its immediate gratifications, forced to live with the consequences, both small and at the same time incalculably large, of its domination, always falling short of our higher ideals.
Existing passively and silently within the human biological body is a deeper self with the potential for continuation. From this point, the book takes us into the field of the mystics and guides of all traditions: the continuation of the deeper self is dependent upon achieving its transformation through special use of the body-machine during a human lifetime.
Only this specific transformation obtained through precise efforts can provide us with real freedom from the compelling attraction of organic life. Establishing this point logically or intellectually is a task suited to contemporary writers in phenomenology and psychology. Mr. Gold's true interest lies elsewhere, in the “how” rather than the “why.” Using the human biological machine as a weapon against itself by activating its higher transformational functions is an exact science, and what is called for is a manual, a toolkit for accomplishing the task. It is by no means an impossible task, nor is the strategy particularly complex. The basis of the method is disarmingly simple.
On the other hand, it is a formidable path to pursue, precisely because of its effectiveness. It suggests commando raids on the hypnotic conditioning and constraint of ordinary life, which the body will of course resist with its own stubborn will and cunning. What the novice needs more than philosophical justifications is “field expedients”—battle-tested alternatives for survival behind enemy lines.
As a manual, the present book introduces a clear, concise and understandable method for obtaining real and lasting results under any lifestyle conditions we may find ourselves in at the moment. It is a modern presentation of ideas that have existed outside mainstream knowledge for thousands of years, in vehicles such as the oral transmission of shamanism and the Hermetic treatises of the medieval alchemists.
A better literary comparison than the Republic is the practical meditation manual, whether it be from Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic or Judaeo-Christian esoteric tradition. The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus fulfills the function, for a contemporary citizen of a post-industrial nation, of a monastic manual like The Clouds of Unknowing or the Philokalia, which P.D. Ouspensky cites.
Readers who appreciate, among contemporary sources, the concreteness of Tibetan Rinpoche Chogyam Trungpa's Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, initiate Eugen Herrigel's Zen and the Art of Archery, and artist/Kabbalist Samuel Avital's The Mime Workbook, will value the pragmatic, nitty-gritty approach of Mr. Gold's book.
This book in particular establishes Mr. Gold as one of a handful of inner explorers who conduct their research with the ultimate integrity, using themselves as subjects. Authors in this category include G. I. Gurdjieff, Simone Weil, Henri Michaux, Anais Nin and more recently Dr. John Lilly, inventor of the “sensory attenuation tank” and founder of the Human/Dolphin Foundation.
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, rebbe of B'nai Or Religious Fellowship and Professor of Jewish Mysticism at Temple University, Philadelphia, the author of another fine practical manual, The First Step, has described Mr. Gold well in his comment on this new book:
“E.J. Gold is not just an armchair guru. Each of his teachings on the path is the result of his empirical work with himself and his associates. From the Balinese monkey chant to intentional out of body experiences, he has done it, described it, and taught it. This prolific upaya master deserves our attention. He has specialized in scandalizing the ego and getting people to awaken to their paths as long as I have known him—over twenty years.”
Like few contemporaries, Mr. Gold has not only conducted this inner research painstakingly over many years, but also taken the trouble to map the territory, annotate the maps and write the travelogue to make a veritable “hitchhiker's guide” through the perils and pathways of inner transformation.
The original series of human biological machine talks were given over the course of a year. The talks culminated with a formulation that is entirely new and original, the idea of “the chronic defense mechanism against the waking state of the machine.” Everyone who heard material on the chronic was thunderstruck, even if accustomed to Mr. Gold's brilliance and improvisational genius in giving expression to the ideas of his particular lineage. This was a new idea, a brand new vantage point for working with obstacles that the body-machine continually presents to anyone wishing to be transformed and to evolve.
Several talks expanded and refined this idea until it became a full-blown technique for use in everyday life by anyone… artist, engineer, waitress, doctor, housewife … It is the universally applicable practice, something that will work in any situation.
In the language of this book, Mr. Gold's interest is exclusively in working towards the evolution of the essential self, never in the modification of the “human biological machine” for its greater comfort or security. “Beyond Personal Enhancement” is one of the chapter titles that could serve as a subtitle for this exceptional book which, if used as intended—as a beginner's manual—packs the punch of a living teaching bursting forth with the power of millenia of accumulated force and knowledge behind it.