Phase Sixteen

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The attributes of the Faculties when Will is at Phase 16derived frommodified byfromdescription
Will The positive man 16 
MaskTrue Illusion 2CM 28 Hope
False Delusion BF 14 None except monotony
Creative MindTrue Vehemence 14CM 16 Emotional will
False Opinionated will BF 2 Enforced love of the world
Body of Fate Enforced illusion 28 
Composite of Faculties
trueThe positive man seeks to deliver illusion, modified by hope, from enforced illusion, with the help of vehemence, modified by emotional will.
falseThe positive man is misdirected to delusion, modified by monotony, because opinionated will, modified by enforced love of the world, is separated from enforced illusion.
The disposition of the FacultiesAttributes of Phase 16affectsmodifies
Will The positive man 16-
MaskT: Player on Pan’s Pipes
F: Fury
Creative MindT: Emotional will
F: Terror
14 28 FM

16 TCM
Body of Fate The Fool is his own Body of Fate 28 14 FM

See AV B 137-40 & 98.

William Blake, Rabelais, Aretino, Paracelsus, some beautiful women, [Maud Gonne]

Yeats’s description of the phase from A Vision

Phase 16 is in contrast to Phase 14, in spite of their resemblance of extreme subjectivity, in that it has a Body of Fate from the phase of the Fool, a phase of absorption, and its Mask from what might have been called the phase of the Child, a phase of aimless energy, of physical life for its own sake; whereas Phase 14 had its Body of Fate from the phase of the Child and its Mask from that of the Fool. Fate thrusts an aimless excitement upon Phase 14. Phase 14 finds within itself an antithetical self-absorbing dream. Phase 16 has a like dream thrust upon it and finds within itself an aimless excitement. This excitement, and this dream, are both illusions, so that the Will, which is itself a violent scattering energy, has to use its intellect (Creative Mind) to discriminate between illusions. They are both illusions, because, so small is the primary nature, sense of fact is an impossibility. If it use its intellect, which is the most narrow, the most unflinching, even the most cruel possible to man, to disengage the aimless child (i.e. to find Mask and Image in the child's toy), it finds the soul's most radiant expression and surrounds itself with some fairyland, some mythology of wisdom or laughter. Its own mere scattering, its mere rushing out into the disordered and unbounded, after the still trance of Phase 15, has found its antithesis, and therefore self-knowledge and self-mastery.

If, however, it subordinate its intellect to the Body of Fate, all the cruelty and narrowness of that intellect are displayed in service of preposterous purpose after purpose till there is nothing left but the fixed idea and some hysterical hatred. By these purposes, derived from a phase of absorption, the Body of Fate drives the Will back upon its subjectivity, deforming the Mask until the Will can only see the object of its desire in these purposes. It does not hate opposing desire, as do the phases of increasing antithetical emotion, but hates that which opposes desire. Capable of nothing but an incapable idealism (for it has no thought but in myth, or in defence of myth), it must, because it sees one side as all white, see the other side all black; what but a dragon could dream of thwarting a St. George? In men of the phase there will commonly be both natures, for to be true to phase is a ceaseless struggle. At one moment they are full of hate—Blake writes of 'Flemish and Venetian demons' and of some picture of his own destroyed 'by some vile spell of Stoddart's'—and their hate is always close to madness; and at the next they produce the comedy of Aretino and of Rabelais or the mythology of Blake, and discover symbolism to express the overflowing and bursting of the mind. There is always an element of frenzy, and almost always a delight in certain glowing or shining images of concentrated force: in the smith's forge; in the heart; in the human form in its most vigorous development; in the solar disc; in some symbolical representation of the sexual organs; for the being must brag of its triumph over its own incoherence.

Since Phase 8 the man has more and more judged what is right in relation to time: a right action, or a right motive has been one that he thought possible or desirable to think or do eternally; his soul would come into possession of itself for ever in one single moment'; but now he begins once more to judge an action or motive in relation to space. A right action or motive must soon be right for any other man in similar circumstance. Hitherto an action, or motive, has been right precisely because it is exactly right for one person only, though for that person always. After the change, the belief in the soul's immortality declines, though the decline is slow, and it may only be recovered when Phase 1 is passed.

Among those who are of this phase may be great satirists, great caricaturists, but they pity the beautiful, for that is their Mask, and hate the ugly, for that is their Body of Fate, and so are unlike those of the primary phases, Rembrandt for instance, who pity the ugly, and sentimentalise the beautiful, or call it insipid, and turn away or secretly despise and hate it. Here too are beautiful women, whose bodies have taken upon themselves the image of the True Mask, and in these there is a radiant intensity, something of 'The Burning Babe' of the Elizabethan lyric. They walk like queens, and seem to carry upon their backs a quiver of arrows, but they are gentle only to those whom they have chosen or subdued, or to the dogs that follow at their heels. Boundless in generosity, and in illusion, they will give themselves to a beggar because he resembles a religious picture and be faithful all their lives, or if they take another turn and choose a dozen lovers, die convinced that none but the first or last has ever touched their lips, for they are of those whose 'virginity renews itself like the moon'. Out of phase they turn termagant, if their lover take a wrong step in a quadrille where all the figures are of their own composition and changed without notice when the fancy takes them. Indeed, perhaps if the body have great perfection, there is always something imperfect in the mind, some rejection of or inadequacy of Mask: Venus out of phase chose lame Vulcan. Here also are several very ugly persons, their bodies torn and twisted by the violence of the new primary, but where the body has this ugliness great beauty of mind is possible. This is indeed the only antithetical phase where ugliness is possible, it being complementary to Phase 2, the only primary phase where beauty is possible.

From this phase on we meet with those who do violence, instead of those who suffer it; and prepare for those who love some living person, and not an image of the mind, but as yet this love is hardly more than the 'fixed idea' of faithfulness. As the new love grows the sense of beauty will fade.

(AV B 137-40)

Symbol of Phase 16: ‘dark circle with hand’ (see YVP 3 400-01)

See a broader view of the Phase in the consideration of the Phase Triads.

The Faculties

The Wheel


The Phases in History


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