The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 4

Human thinking goes along beaten paths.

There are limitations to human thinking. Some limitations are insuperable, others are restrictions which may be overcome by desire, exercise and discipline in thinking.

The first of these limitations is that thinking is carried on under certain types of thought which have their origin in twelve universal points, types or numbers. Human thinking is done under a number, the number eight, under the type of two and under subtypes of two. People think of me and not me, of the visible and the invisible, of the in and the out and of spirit and matter. They do not think in any other way. Further, all this thinking is done under the male type and the female type. A man does not think as a woman does and a woman does not think as a man thinks. If the doer could think without the body it would not think under the male type or the female type, but because the doer is in a physical body and thinks through its organs, it must think according to the male or the female type of the body.

The type under which the thinking is done makes the visible world appear as twos, pairs, and opposites. The plants are male and female because of human thoughts; male animals are made by a man’s desire and female animals by a woman’s feeling; the sexless and hermaphrodite sometimes come from unusual humans, but they usually come over from prior ages and are parts of thoughts which still exist; they result from thoughts and acts which have not been balanced.

If people did not think under the subtype of me and not me there would be no ownership, no belief in creation and in a Creator. If they did not divide the world into the visible and the invisible there would be no darkness, that is, they could see as well in the dark as in the light. If they could think of more than in and out they could see throughout things. If they did not think of spirit and matter or force and matter as different they would actually see them as the two aspects of the one.

Another limitation of human thinking is that it is held down to sexual, elemental, emotional and intellectual subjects. If ever a human attempts to think on an abstract subject like time, space, the light, his Self, he is held down or drawn back by subjects of these kinds and he falls into thinking on them. The amount of experience, learning and knowledge available to him is thereby limited.

Another limitation is that every man is limited by the particular class into which his past thinking and consequent development has put him. There are four such classes; the first cannot think without considering their bodies first and last; the second cannot think without the idea of gaining, getting, selling, buying. The third cannot think without planning, comparing, and without respect for their reputation or name; the fourth class are few; they think to acquire Self-knowledge. Though a man clearly belongs to one of the first two classes, in which are the run of human beings, the amount, quality and aim of his thinking may transcend the limitations of his class.

Thinking is limited by dishonesty in thinking, that is, by thinking against what one believes to be right. Dishonest thinking shuts out Light, by refusing to see the thing one knows he should see and by looking for the thing he knows he should not see. Rightness shows what not to think, and the body-mind he uses in trying to build up the thing he should not do, is warned by rightness. Thoughts which one has already created, memories of the past, and the four senses bringing in sights and sounds, are constantly interfering and creating cross-currents of thinking.

The attachment of human beings to the objects of their thinking and to the results of their actions restricts the action of the thinking which is necessary to build to free the Light and to hold it steady. The sensuous activities of the doer and the impurities of the body befoul the psychic and obscure the mental atmosphere. They cause the Light to be diffused or obscured, as a cloud of smoke thickens the air and obstructs the sunlight. They prevent the clear Light of the Intelligence from reaching into the mental atmosphere of the human.

When there is a rift and the Light does reach in, the human is aroused, astonished, inspired and instantaneously enlightened. A human is not able to remain open to the clear Light. The very feeling which this Light awakens and the thinking of the body-mind close the rift, and the doer continues its thinking in its diffused Light.

Human beings prefer to think on accustomed paths, that is, they think only on familiar lines in religion, in science or in philosophy. Thereby they think into the different planes of the physical world which are connected with the corresponding worlds. The lines of thinking are suggested by the senses. Education, habit and the senses limit their thinking to familiar paths. It is almost impossible for the average man to think away from these paths; the effort would be too great to continue. He does not think away from his four senses and they compel his thinking into certain parts of nature. That is one reason why man has made such progress in natural sciences along certain lines. Even there he is prevented from making greater progress by the limitations of his thinking.

The doer-in-the-body does not know of its limitations or of that which is beyond them. It has wrapped itself up in and attached itself to the things of the four senses. As a human it has separated itself from direct communication with its real thinker and knower. It does not distinguish itself from its four senses. It uses the Light it has towards the consideration of the physical plane of the physical world as the reality of life.

Therefore the human has no conception of his limitations. He can conceive of matter, of dimensions of matter, and of time, which is matter, because he feels and is experiencing change, which is time. He does not conceive of space, because he has no experience with space; he is in matter. He sees only one dimension of matter, surface matter, on-ness or length, breadth and thickness as the measure of space; but that is a misunderstanding, space having no dimensions. The fundamental conceptions of the nature of the earth, of the heavens, of the stars, of the sun and its planets, of the nature of the doer itself, of God, and of the Intelligence, are limited, sensuous and usually erroneous.

Human beings will not be ready to grow out of their limitations until they understand the difference between the feeling-and-desire of the doer-in-the-body and its Triune Self, and between the doer and nature as shown by the four senses and until they use the Light of the Intelligence to search for realities through, but not in, the physical world. Then it will be apparent what were the limits of thinking and why they existed.