chapter  4
Consciousness and Being
Pages 8

On the other hand, faith about, say, 'phoenixes rising from their own ashes' is simply this same universal attribute of consciousness applied to a fantasy, an assumption (the phoenix) that has no basis in experience; what is unnecessary here is not the faith but the assumption. Now many 'faiths' place faith in baseless assumptions. And when people discover this, they not only reject the assumption (rightly), but, because they fail to discriminate, they deceive themselves into thinking that they can do without the faith too. All that has happened to them, though, is that they have transferred their faculty of faith to the basis of experience and have simultaneously forgotten that they are using it. Now to forget that one has a sharp knife in one's hand is dangerous. 1

4· CONSCIOUSNESS AND BEING What follows will have to be stated in terms of ordinary speech, though that necessarily involves the word 'is' and logical con-

structions, because speech is hardly possible without them; nevertheless they have to be regarded here as a makeshift, and the whole of what follows tends to undermine the ultimate value of speech, retaining it, however, as a necessity for communication in conditions where separateness and individuality predominate.