Jabberwocky - Second Half of Humpty Dumpty

Studies in Alice XX, by Marc Edmund Jones

This lesson considers the second half of the sixth chapter of Through the Looking-Glass and the twentieth great principle of wisdom in the Philosophy of Concepts as revealed through the adventures of Alice is that everything is sustained in consciousness and that the all-important problem in every issue of life is sustaining the particular condition in which the critical situation may have arisen. At least this must be so until such time as a different and perhaps more constructive consciousness can be developed to the point of possibility of sustainment and until the condition can be transferred. The idea may be illustrated in shoring a building during construction operations. It will be granted that the heavy beams used to prop the walls are most unsatisfactory and unsightly but it must be understood that the foundations of the building are for the moment inadequate and not to be trusted. Either new foundations may be put in or beams may be left until the special strain that has made them necessary is past. If the trouble in the beginning were sudden inadequacy of foundation, then shoring becomes necessary as the first step in supporting the building and only later can any move be made toward replacing the foundations. In life the one great function of any deliberate manipulation of consciousness, where there is trouble in any detail of outer affairs, is to provide first the shoring or sustenance of existing support and only then proceed to the creation of new foundations. Therefore to question divergent facts in any given problem or to deal with side issues is useless and destructive until the major problem is met. To accept the existing condition hypothetically as constructive and to sustain and strengthen the foundation in self underlying the whole is to proceed intelligently to the solution of any problem.

Here is the principle of momentum. The drive or original and foundation urge in everything must first be cultured in an intelligent co-operation with life. As the horoscope shows the genius of an individual in every detail of being and shows the seat of this genius to be in the moment and place of beginning so the reality of all life and substance must be seen to be inherent in and founded on the emanative force or intelligence that has brought it into being. Consideration of the side issues of life, apart from themselves as self-sustaining manifestations of consciousness, is wholly destructive. They may give light on the major issue but the light so gained belongs to the major issue and the contributory detail should be used only as symbols of divinatory factors.

The symbolism of this section of the sixth Chapter of Looking-Glass is interesting therefore in its clever drawing of Humpty Dumpty's recitation. The doggerel itself is fascinating in its portrayal of inspiration at the inchoate or first stage of manifestation. Almost wholly meaningless it yet suggests strongly the existence of the conception for which the chubby gentleman is groping. Truly inspired spiritual work is created in this fashion and to an extent that epochal new leavenings of the consciousness of man, if they are important but unfortunate enough to be preserved in anything like the form of their original text, are sheer foolishness to the Greeks or the intelligentsia of all ages. The remarks of Alice did not help Humpty Dumpty but put him out because she took up the minutiae of detail literally before the inspiration has gained the momentum to carry it to the point of real revelation. Here may be seen interestingly the destructive working of any yessing in life. It is opposition and controversy that has in most cases aided every spiritual contribution to world progress to come into being and establish itself.

The achievement of imagination in the chapter, or the twentieth great scientific anticipation, is the revelation here of the real nature of concepts or the basic operative ideas of life as put forth in this philosophy, and definitely organized and cultured in their self-sustaining capacity. The scientific world is increasingly coming to the realization that the acquisition of knowledge is entirely co-operative, especially beyond the present boundary lines of human conception, and thereby the exchange of the fruits of scientific research is increasingly marked. Wisdom is seen to be the combining of ideas and not the learning or revelation of facts in mysterious esoteric or hidden completeness. Facts weave with other facts to create reality that is wisdom and is entirely superior to the realm of fact. Knowledge is gained therefore through the association and disassociation of various factors or putting together in comprehension and taking apart by intuitive groping or actual laboratory search for further details to consider. The putting together is of course the later and final stage. At the outset the seeker must learn how to separate things and to recognize them in their separation. For this he must employ idea or a concept or concepts to sustain disassociated factors in consciousness during a period of research and investigation or growth into knowledge.

The symbolism of the portmanteau words is one of the truly delightful and very valuable features of the book. Concepts after all are nothing more than portmanteau words or perhaps they might more accurately and graphically be described as portmanteau ideas represented by portmanteau words. In explaining them Humpty Dumpty uses the term "something like" and they must first be suggestive. No concepts can arise except on this relationship between the already-known and the to-be-known. Then Humpty Dumpty adds to his description an "also" and second, the concepts must be inductive. No concept can function unless it compels an emphasis of interest on the to-be-known at the expense of the already-known. Finally the rotund and first real explainer of concepts in the history of human thought acting by proxy for Lewis Carroll makes use of the pun as in explaining wabe to be extending way behind and way before and dramatizes the necessity for outer associativeness to the ear in sound as well as inner association in idea. No concept can function unless it is of itself and outwardly suggestive. Third, it must be seductive. In terms of power to awaken interest in the to-be-known it must be wholly independent of the already-known.

The law of applied psychology, or the twentieth big idea for the solution of personal problems, is brought out here in the technique of contentment and this brings up the whole matter of inspiration. There is necessity for constant liaison throughout life and when the poem is not met with favor it comes to abrupt ending as brought out above. Humpty Dumpty did not like Alice. She saw or sensed no distinction in his poem. There was no communion and he saw no distinction in her and thus went to sleep. Discontent and content are contagious and for elimination of the one and strengthening of the other it is necessary to get to the root of the consciousness involved and to sustain that which is desired. The student must learn to BE REMARKABLE or to conform to inner self or foundation consciousness rather than to the outer world. He must have in self that which challenges interest or, like Dr. Fell, he will be disliked and impeded by everyone on general principles.