People often ask why life is so hard. They ask it with special force once they have gotten to the point of realizing that we do indeed co-create our lives. “If we have as much power to shape our lives as is claimed,” people sometimes ask, “why do our lives have so much pain, so many troubles, so much frustration?”

A while ago, I was given an answer that satisfies me. Perhaps it will you, as well.

Over the past year, I have been in communication with departed spirits – the shades of the dead, as people used to say. That’s another story for another time. For now, either take it for granted, or pretend, that you are hearing the shade of Ernest Hemingway, talking of what happened to him after he killed himself.

“When I left the body – when I blew myself out of that situation – I knew what I was doing, and why. I wasn’t emotionally distraught, I wasn’t out of my mind, and I wasn’t even depressed – once I’d figured out how to get out. So when I got over to this side – as you always put it – I knew where and who I was and how I’d gotten here. I was fine, despite what you’ve heard about suicides. The bad effects of suicide have a lot more to do with attitudes than with a given act.

“I went back to being in my mid-thirties. I was happy then. I’d taken my lumps and I’d already left Hadley, which was a stupid thing to do but there you are, and I was in the prime of life. I was healthy, able, clear-sighted and I could do about anything I ever had a reasonable chance to do. I could shoot, I could fish, I could ride, I could write. I saw beauty everywhere and I loved being alive! It was people and their actions and emotions that were hard, and here that isn’t a problem.

“As you are beginning to discover, loneliness is not a factor here, either. We’re all connected. So you’re as alone as you wish and as connected as you wish. It’s perfect! If you want to go fishing, it’s as real as going fishing on earth – especially to the degree that you release control.”

I think I know what you mean, but –

“Not much fun fishing if every time you throw the line you know you are going to catch a fish, and even less fun if you know that every one is going to be prize category. So – release control and it’s just like earth. You are deliberately renouncing your ability to create what you want, you see, or maybe I should say you are creating a range of results and renouncing timing and control over which one manifests and where and when and how often. Maybe there’ll be days you don’t catch anything. You might think that would spoil it, but it doesn’t – it enhances it when you do catch something. Just like in your dimensions.

“Well, just as you do that with fishing, you do it with relationships. What’s the point in having a perfect romance, day after day, with a predictably adorable other person who adores you too? You’d get sugar diabetes of the emotions! So you relinquish control and you let people come to you sometimes – as you did. As Hadley does. As my children still do.”


Friends, without asking you to believe that I was really talking to Hemingway’s shade, I maintain that this is the best explanation I have ever heard as to why – we being creators of our lives – life is hard. Life is hard because it serves us to have it unpredictable.

Kind of takes the victim-hood out of things, doesn’t it?

5 thoughts on “Fishing

  1. I have a zillion questions here. For sake of space and time I will only touch on a few. How do you know you were really talking to Hemingway? Did you see him? Did you ask specifically to talk to him and in doing so attributed him to what you sense you “heard”? What if it is not Hemingway, but God Himself? God longs to be in communication and relationship with us. What does Hemingway care….he tried to escape life…..God is life. Of course we co-create life, why would that be a revelation? What though, if our struggles were so we could see God in a different way. How could we know God’s mercy except we need and experience God’s mercy? How do we know God’s guidance unless we ask and experience God’s guidance? How do we understand how great is His salvation unless we experience the depths of our depravity? I don’t get why Hemingway is such a big deal with you. I mean that in the kindest of ways.

  2. One other thing. Referring to my last comment. Looking at God’s desire to have relationship with us takes the victim-hhod out of things as well. It’s rather a blessing.

  3. Sounds reasonable to me. I discovered something similar about myself. Years ago I was into computer role-playing games. In these, you could choose the attributes of your computer personality at the start of the game. At first, I would make mine as powerful as possible, which would assure victory. As I become more adept at the game, this became boring — it got too easy. So I would give my characters some handicaps, to see what I could achieve in spite of these handicaps. I suspect we do the same with our human lives. My guess is that some of the people who are born with handicaps are actually advanced souls doing something similar — making this incarnation a little more challenging.

  4. Bob, your comment offers a very interesting way to think about it. Thanks.

    Sherry, your zillion questions deserve a zillion answers, but really they open up so much territory that I don’t know if I can answer them without writing the book I keep telling myself I am going to write about all this.

    Your very first question — “How do you know you were really talking to Hemingway?” — requires that I describe the process of getting into touch with people on the other side. I have done that, or tried to do that, in the posts I have written here over the past few weeks. The shortest answer is that in life nothing is certain, and that a more productive question than “is that the person you think” may be “does the response resonate as true for you?” That shifts the emphasis from external credentials (so to speak) to internal validation. The danger is self-delusion, or inflation, but assuming that the potential pitfalls are kept in mind, there is much of value to be received this way, as my experience over the past couple of years — set down extensively in previous posts, as I say — shows me.

    You ask, “Did you see him?” That isn’t the way I receive psychic information. There are four ways, you know: visual, auditory, feeling, and “knowing,” and the latter is the most direct.

    “Did you ask specifically to talk to him and in doing so attributed him to what you sense you “heard”?” Yes.

    “What if it is not Hemingway, but God Himself?” Again, there is a difference between credentials and information. I’m not going to go into the question of God in this format, perhaps in a post sometime. Again, a big subject requiring some length.

    “God longs to be in communication and relationship with us. What does Hemingway care….he tried to escape life…” I can see how you might see it that way, but Hemingway’s explanation satisfied me on that point.

    “Of course we co-create life, why would that be a revelation?” I don’t know why it should be, but it seems that often it is. People really do struggle against a sense of their own insignificance, their victim-hood.

    “I don’t get why Hemingway is such a big deal with you.” All I can say is that I responded to the honesty and depth in his writing, and what he said about fishing seemed to me worth passing on to others.

  5. Thank you Frank! You are always so straight forward and I truly appreciate that. Glad to have you back! Always interesting and always…..hmmmmm…..a little convicting. I mean that in an grateful way. You cause me to grow in a positive way.


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