Humpty Dumpty - First Half

Studies in Alice XIX, by Marc Edmund Jones

This lesson considers the first half of the sixth chapter of Through the Looking-Glass and the nineteenth great principle of wisdom in the Philosophy of Concepts as revealed through the adventures of Alice is that form is balance and that all reality in life in consequence is a living phenomenon that must have constant attention whether this is given willingly and consciously or exacted unwillingly and therefore given subconsciously in and through a general lack of balance or equilibrium in life and affairs. Almost of cardinal importance in this study is the realization that nothing can be built on alien foundations. The desire to get in on the ground floor of prosperity or to horn in on the bounties of life is the mark of a soul that has yet to be awakened to the joy of achievement and to the challenge of existence. Perhaps the psychology of this was best brought out in the 1001 Nights when it was seen that the greatest desire of a slave was not to gain his freedom but rather to possess a slave of his own. Thus in Moslem Lands it was necessary to provide by enactment that no slave could be set free by a master without that slave's willing consent. The average man is in slavery to this or that because it is his fundamental wish, and the first task in a work of this character is to awaken in aspirants a desire to be freedmen in a spiritual sense. Man who wishes to achieve must first of all put down his own foundations and learn to stand on his own spiritual understanding whatever it may be. Power is not gained by authority delegated from one to another for the reason that it is ephemeral and subject to every whim of chance. A real power is gained in fineness of equilibrium that creates a focus between factors or provides a foundation on which divergent forces can meet and unite.

Here is the principle of distinction or of constructive uniqueness as it is found in everyone who has put down their own foundations in life. They are distinct but not by virtue of any fine shade of outer difference in opinion or action. These are the superficial things that are most likely to be absent in individuals of the greatest distinction or in those of whom it is said they are simple or approachable and unaffected by their prominence. A man is truly distinct or an outstanding figure in life when everything to be recognized in him can be stripped away without lessening the sense of his reality and distinction. The symbolism of this section of the sixth chapter of Looking-Glass is interesting in its picture of Humpty Dumpty on the wall. The narrowness or sharpness of the wall is symbol of the discrimination that always underlies human distinction. True greatness can balance on a narrow line of realization that has grown to a point never lacking in a standard of distinction. The greater of inner uncertainty the larger the wall an individual must have to balance on. The objection of Humpty Dumpty to being called an egg is a symbol of every ego's objection to an estimation based on outer appearance. The egg symbolizes the ego, as seen throughout Rosicrucian and Egyptian imagery, and the reference is humorous in the light of American slang. Because Alice was unable to see beneath this outer semblance of ovoid lack of distinction, she could not determine whether Humpty Dumpty was wearing a cravat or a belt. The looking away rather than at Alice on the part of the gentleman on the wall symbolizes the lack of real rapport that renders a stare unpleasant. As long as Humpty Dumpty to Alice was only an egg, just that long was she unable to command his glance or gain his whole or co-operative attention. This is an allegory of life. When the seeker can look within and see the real power and being in all objects he can command attention and gain co-operation. It is this principle that lies behind so-called occult phenomena.

The achievement of imagination in the chapter, or the nineteenth great scientific anticipation, is the revelation here of the principles of intelligence as based on experience. In modern scientific analysis of human intelligence the procedure has been to base all classification on typical age rating or to determine perhaps somewhat artificially but none the less effectively the normal intelligence of each age group and to classify everyone accordingly. Intelligence tests have been devised by means of which this sorting out of individuals is achieved, and by means of this separation of groups it has been possible to develop an instruction for subnormals that is striking in results. Age of course is a matter of experience whether in years of fact or years of psychological classification. Thus the fact is recognized that intelligence is a result of experience, and by the results obtained in the segregated groups it is seen now that intelligence is also the result of social or general human association. The subnormal individuals, held back by their environment once the fact of their comparative stupidity is made a matter of reproach and they are driven within themselves, are drawn out and carried forward with ease when placed in an environment with their kind. Science is therefore gaining at last a proper appreciation of social co-operations, and so knocks at the door of an occultism that affirms everything is consciousness or actually social in nature.

The symbolism of the age discussion becomes obvious. The experience fixation by means of which Alice might have stayed at seven is recognized by Lewis Carroll as a possibility, and it has remained for modern psychology to reveal it as a common fact. Two or more can arrange to halt growth, and by implication two or more can arrange to advance growth. In the work with the Philosophy of Concepts this forming of groups is used to advance intelligence far beyond the normal, and there is neither mystery nor occult hocus-pocus in it. Humpty Dumpty suggests regret at the thought of growth without definite reason, and the whole purpose of illumination is to provide a growth which is purposeful.

The law of applied psychology or the nineteenth big idea for the solution of personal problems is brought out here in the technique of mastership. Place in life above and beyond the normal degree of an individual's age group is gained by means of participation in the essence or inner reality of things. He knows the name or inner power of the details of life that lie within his control. Names must mean something, as already brought out in the work, and man must give to that which acknowledges him. To gain acknowledgment or to be a master he therefore must have that to give of a nature above and beyond outer appearances of things. This brings up the whole matter of words, which are the messengers of self. The aspirant must put much meaning into them. He must give them a great deal of self or pay them extra on Saturday. Verbs are the most difficult because they deal with action and manifestation. Adjectives are easy because their function is largely a yessing one. However Humpty Dumpty puts his effort in a noun or the outer thing in which mastership must forever and always be evident. The student must learn to MAKE EXPRESSION EXPENSIVE, and call for more and more of himself in order to elevate himself. Slowly but surely the sincere student raises his spending class, or his costs of manifestation, for mastership is constant increase in obligation to life and is reached through no other means.