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The purpose of this chapter is to enable you to refine the virtue matrix that you constructed in Exercise One. Your matrix will then, more and more, accurately reflect your own inner mind and the conceptual universe. There is a part of your
nature that is ever virtuous and ever conscious: your true nature. Your true nature already has a perfect understanding of the
virtues. By deepening your everyday understanding of the virtues you naturally attune to that pristine part of your nature.
This attunement is like a bridge that allows your true nature ever greater expression in your everyday life.
A Deeper Understanding of the Matrix
According to the principles of simplicity and completeness, every virtue in our matrix should be of the same order of complexity. The chemist acknowledges the vast variety of substances but in his periodic table he only includes the simple chemical elements.
Water is not a chemical element: it is a compound of two chemical elements. In the same way some of the concepts that you consider to be elemental virtues may actually be a compound of two or more other virtues. If you have a virtue in your matrix that you are not sure about, you should check to see whether or not its quality and meaning can be made up from a combination of other virtue elements. If so then it can be safely discarded from your matrix as its compound qualities are already present within your matrix in a purer form.
If you know the quality of a virtue, by inferring it from its opposite quality etc, but you cannot think of the correct name for
it don't worry. It may be that the language you are using has no name for it. This is the fault of the imperfect language and
not the universal matrix! In any case just simply make up a label for it out of a few appropriate words, eg "OPPOSITE VIRTUE OF ...". This will suffice as a handle for your inner exercises and that is the most important thing. Each virtue does
have a more scientific name which describes its meaning more precisely. This will be discussed in the next chapter. There is
an even more profound name for each virtue, that the most discerning readers will appreciate, but that is beyond the scope of this book and the knowledge of the author!
Gaps in the Matrix
It should be noted that although we are dealing with elemental virtues they themselves are formed from combinations of even simpler conceptual elements. By uncovering these elemental concepts and noting down their combinations you can be
sure that you are on the right track. As you discovered in Exercise One, every virtue belongs to a group of four virtues. This indicates that all four share a conceptual element. The scientific name for a virtue is composed of the simple conceptual
elements that make it up. For example, strength, gentleness, steadfastness and flexibility all share the conceptual element "FORCE".
Beyond the Elemental
Strength is the [GIVING OUT] of [FORCE] from the [SELF],
Gentleness is the [KEEPING IN] of [FORCE] from the [SELF],
Steadfastness is the [RESISTING] of [FORCE] from the [NON SELF],
Flexibility is the [ACCEPTING] of [FORCE] from the [NON SELF].
With the new knowledge you have gained from this chapter go back to Exercise One and review your work. Note: The data contained in this section should not be accepted without thought. Contemplate it and try to apply it to your studies but
hold your own insights in equal regard. Test and test again the assumptions that you hold and the things that you are being told: the rubbish will fall away and the truth will hold firm.
In the future, if you study well, there will come a point when you have a complete understanding of the virtuous matrix: you will have noted and categorized every virtuous element possible. I myself, at the time of writing, have not attained such a
level of understanding. I am just a student on the path. Despite the fact that there are gaps in our knowledge, ie virtues
unknown to us, there is still a way that we can increase their qualities within us. By utilising the concept of "the unknown
virtue" we have available to us a way of reintegrating aspects of our nature that we do not even have a knowledge of.
The Unknown Virtue
Relax inwardly and outwardly. Acknowledge to yourself that there may be some qualities within your nature that, consciously, you do not even know exist. In your minds' eye send the light of love and awareness into those mysterious parts of your nature. Let go of all the false beliefs you have about yourself and the world around you. Simply release any
inner tensions that are pushing down the unknown virtues within you now. Allow yourself to feel different as you visualise
the previously unknown qualities flooding out into your awareness. Inwardly feel every part of your being infused with new
power. Now listen carefully to your inner dialogue, try and notice any pictures or feelings that come into your mind. These
perceptions may be inspirational clues that can shed light for you on the conceptual matrix or offer other useful insights.
Visualise all the virtues intermingled as one light shining in boundless harmony.
*Exercise Eight: Reintegrating The "Unknown Virtue"*
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You are here: Index Character Improvement "Inner Medicine"
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